Crescenta Valley 9-10 All-Stars win Section 2 softball title

GLENDALE — The Crescenta Valley 9-10 All-Stars softball team got off to a rocky start in its Section 2 Championship showdown against Canyon Country at Scholl Canyon on Tuesday.

The first three CV batters all grounded out to start the game and Canyon Country got on the board for an early one-run lead in the bottom of the first inning.

Turns out, that first frame was nothing more than a blip. Crescenta Valley defeated Canyon Country, 9-4, to claim the Section 2 title. The team moves on to the state tournament in Menifee starting Thursday.

“It's a six-inning game,” Crescenta Valley Coach Mark Bitetti said. “Katie [Ward] gathered herself and in the second inning did a great job. Sara [Wells] did an awesome job.”

Once again, CV's pitching rose to the occasion. After a shaky first inning, starting pitcher Ward laid down the hammer in the second frame, striking out the side in order. She finished with four strikeouts in two innings before yielding to Wells to start the third. Wells matched Ward with four strikeouts of her own in two innings. Natalie Bitetti also pitched two innings and struck out three.

“I think it starts with pitching and our pitching has been really good,” Mark Bitetti said. “They're a spirited group. It's a good group of girls.”

With the pitching doing its job, it wasn't long before Crescenta Valley's hitting came alive. Wells and Alex Schwalbach managed walks in the second inning and Emily Ruano drove them in with a sharply hit two-run single to right field to give her team a 2-1 advantage.

“I saw it coming right through the middle, so I thought, 'Might as well go for it,' and I just smacked it,” Ruano said.

Crescenta Valley added two more runs in the third off of a pair of RBI singles from Aidyn Kehrli and Natalie Bitetti. After adding a run in the fourth to make it 5-1, the floodgates opened for a four-run fifth inning.

Ruano had two hits, two RBI and a run scored; Schwalbach reached base three times (two hits and a walk) to go with three runs scored and an RBI; and Kehrli had two singles, an RBI and a run scored.

It was the second time CV defeated Canyon Country, having posted a 12-2 win on Sunday.

After having lost with her Tri-Cities Tournament of Championship squad, Ruano was plenty pleased with Tuesday’s outcome. After taking a team photo in front of the Section 2 championship banner, she was happy to have won the tournament.

“It feels good to actually take a picture like that,” Ruano said.

Copyright © 2019, Glendale News-Press
EDITION: California | U.S. & World