The La Cañada junior varsity softball team remained undefeated in Rio Hondo League play in its first game against Temple City, defeating the Rams in the first of two exciting games, 4-3.
The Spartans struck in the first inning when both lead off hitter Emily Erskine and then Kirby Comstock singled, allowing Erskine to score the first run. Temple City went hitless until the fourth inning, when the Rams scored a run off of two hits.
Devon Zerebko pitched a gem of a game with 11 strikeouts. Melanie Bittner shut down the Rams' offense with a spectacular catch in the fourth, but Temple City overcame the Spartans in the fifth, with two runs on two hits.
La Cañada scored again in the sixth when Vanessa Zuk walked, moved to third on steals/passed balls, and scored on an Erskine ground out. With the Spartans down by one in the bottom of the seventh, in their last at bat, the team came alive. They fought back, first with a triple by Devon Zerebko, then bunts by Lucy Filipone and Joanna Burlison.
Burlison scoring the winning run on a well placed bunt by Megan Rodriguez.
In a re-match game last Monday, the Spartans played another close one against Temple City, with the contest ending in a 6-6 tie after six innings.
The Rams' struck out 12 Spartans, but La Cañada was still able to capitalize on several walks. Erskine scored on a wild pitch to Kirby Comstock in the third and again in the fifth on a double by Caitlin Deering.
The sixth inning saw three more La Cañada runs score on a single by Filipone, a triple by Bittner and a bunt single by Zuk. A strong Spartans' defense, led by a game saving catch by Meghan Miller in left field and superb catching by Burlison, held Temple City to five runs on eight hits at the end of six innings.
Deering led off the seventh inning with a triple, then scored on a single by Zerebko. Going into the bottom of the seventh, La Cañada led by one run, 6-5, but Temple City got three straight singles to load up the bases.
Zerebko then got a huge strikeout of the Rams' clean-up hitter. The fifth batter flew out to Miller in left field for the second out with the tying run scoring on a tag-up. However, the throw from Miller was used to throw out a Rams' runner at third for the third and final out.