By Vincent PAGE, intern
The Crescenta Valley High School varsity softball team defeated Pasadena High School by a score of 11-1 on Tuesday, winning by the mercy rule in the fifth inning. The team played exceptionally in every aspect: bats were making solid contacts, pitches were whiffing batters and throws were hitting their targets.
tcher Adela Alatraca continued to dominate her final season by throwing gems over the course of the game. She allowed only two hits, struck out nine batters, walked none and allowed one run. She was backed up by a Falcon defense that did not commit a single error the entire game, along with an offense that put everyone who came up to bat on base at least once.
The Falcons got on the scoreboard at an extraordinary pace, as leadoff batter senior Hailey Cookson and sophomore Taylor Schaffer both were given first base on consecutive errors at first, the second of which brought both girls all the way around the bases. The scoring took a brief break and the Falcons would not score again until the third inning.
PHS was able to score their only run of the game when senior Neome Walter was able to knock in freshman Ruby Luna on a fielder’s choice. However, the Falcons buckled down on defense and shut down the PHS bats, as they would not register a hit for the rest of the competition.
The Lady Falcons showed no pity as the offense caught on fire. Senior slugger Melanie Abzun started off the inning by making solid contact on a single, then quickly stole second. Junior catcher Sydnee Wells worked the pitcher until she was given a walk, which put two runners on third and second after a passed ball allowed both runners to advance. Alatraca would fly out, but sophomore Brenda Gamez would force a run in on a fielder’s choice. This left junior first baseman Kendall Ebert with a chance to put a dagger in, and she showed up big time with a hard hit to score both Wells and Gamez, as Ebert herself reached second on the hit. Everybody would eventually bat, most of the time bringing the girl on base around to score. The inning ended with the score 7-1.
Alatraca then continued to dominate, retiring two consecutive batters with strikeouts that were so deceiving the batters did not attempt to swing at them. As usual, she was backed up by her offense, which led off with an Abzun walk, then a steal. While the Falcons offense was a juggernaut Tuesday, they did show some mortality in the fourth, as they left the bases loaded after seemingly gaining momentum because of Abzun scoring on a Gamez single.
The Falcons, leading 8-1 going into the bottom of the fifth, were looking to end the game early on a mercy, and they did just that. Junior Marisa Gutierrez got Abzun in by the way of a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch. Shortly after, Ebert hit a single that brought in Alatraca from first and Wells from second. This ended the game by way of mercy, and while Alatraca played at an elite level, Ebert was the unnoticed star of the game, as she went 4-for-4 with a double, a run, and four runs batted in.
The Lady Falcons’ victory brings their record to 14 wins and 7 losses (7-2 in league play) as their hopes for a league title remain possible.
The Falcons take on Burroughs High School at Burroughs today at 3:30 p.m. as they hope to extend their current winning streak to six games.