Title futility erased

LA Canada

MCCAMBRIDGE PARK — No crosstown rivalry softball game in decades has had more riding on it.

Burbank and Burroughs high were both trying to win league championships, and attempting to overcome long standing droughts in the process, when the teams faced off Thursday at McCambridge Park.

The Indians were looking to win their first outright title in 28 years, and the Bulldogs were trying to secure a share of the title for the first time in 23 years.

Although Burbank put up a fight, it couldn't beat Burroughs pitcher Heather Haynes, as the sophomore threw a shutout to lead the Indians to a 4-0 victory.

Burroughs secured the program's first league crown since 1982, when Coach Jerry Lipman led his group to a Foothill League championship.

"We told the kids that they have something to be proud of with this championship," Coach Jose Valle said. "They were able accomplish something that 27 other teams before them weren't able to accomplish."

Burroughs (17-9, 13-1 in league) finishes one game ahead of defending champion Crescenta Valley (18-8, 12-2) and two ahead of Burbank (17-9, 11-3). If the Bulldogs had won the game, there would have been a three-way tie for first and coin flips would have determined the three team's placement for the postseason.

"We would have definitely liked to get a win and share the title," Burbank Coach Nicole Drabecki said. "But things just didn't go our way. But give credit to Burroughs, they played hard and they deserved to win."

Under Valle, the Indians have been able to improve the past two seasons, as the squad placed second behind the Falcons last season in his first year. The program has also continued to get better the past few years, finishing third in 2008 and fourth in 2007.

The Indians received a solid effort from Haynes Thursday. She scattered six hits, struck out eight and walked five. More importantly, she was able to work her way out of some jams to keep the Bulldogs off the board.

Haynes said she tries not to dwell on her mistakes when she's in the circle.

"If I do something bad, I just try to not think about it and just concentrate on the next batter," she said.

Haynes overcame her biggest hurdle in the fourth inning. After giving up back-to-back singles to Kassy Uchida and Megan Schafer, an error helped Burbank put runners on second and third with no outs. But the sophomore beared down and struck out the side to end the threat.

Haynes also came through at the plate, going two for four with a run scored.

The Indians were also aided by a strong performance by catcher Shannon Trujillo, who threw out two Bulldogs runners at second base in the first two innings.

"Shannon came up big for us behind the plate," Valle said. "[Burbank] was trying to run on us from the beginning. But after she threw out those two runners, they didn't try and run on us after that."

The Indians struck early with a run in the bottom of the first inning. Emily Odio delivered a one-out single and was able to score on an infield error.

Burroughs tacked on another run in the fourth inning when Jena Serranzana walked and scored on a bases-loaded walk by Caitlin Loera.

Singles by Haynes and Allie Grimaldo helped Burroughs add two more runs in the fifth inning.

Uchida was two for three for Burbank.

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