By Timithie NORMAN
Crescenta Valley girls’ softball team has been through a lot in the last year. Last season, the team and community lost Dan Berry, the girls’ varsity coach of nearly 30 years. Current head coach Mark Samford has risen to the task of leading a fresh group of players through the 2012 season, and halfway through Pacific League play, the team looks good with only two losses and wins with up to 17 runs over the opponent.
“The highlight is watching how well the girls have fought through adversity,” Samford said of the season thus far. “Part of what makes La Crescenta a great place is the sense of community you find here. The support the team gets from their families, the school administration, and the town in general has been terrific. It’s a huge part in allowing the girls to meet the challenges they’ve had, and then focus on softball.”
The Falcons (5-2, 12-5 overall) beat Muir with a 16-0 mercy win on Tuesday and hosted Hoover yesterday, who they demolished at their previous meeting 12-1. But it is Friday’s matchup against Burbank (6-1, 14-3 overall) that the girls are eagerly anticipating. With previous losses to Burbank and reigning league co-champion Burroughs, a win on Friday could put the Falcons on track for a portion of the Pacific League championship.
The prospects look good with sophomore Hannah Cookson on the roster, an outfielder who has scored 24 runs so far this season with another 39 RBIs. Just last week against Arcadia High, she managed two grand slams in a dynamite 12-run inning to bury the Apaches 18-7.
“For the girls, that was a big win,” Samford said. “You don’t see that very often.”
Senior Allison Lacey has also been a great asset to the Falcons with 19 runs and 12 RBIs, and freshman Tiffany Briscoe has added 14 runs and eight RBIs to the team stats.
Though excitement is building for Friday’s game, Samford says he wants to girls to stay calm.
“We are trying not to look ahead,” Samford explained. “Physically, we want to go into the game rested and healthy. Mentally, it’s about confidence and focus.”
Cheer on the Falcons tomorrow as they host Burbank High at 3:30 p.m.