Belinda Lujano walks it off with a game-winning bases-loaded single for Burbank to defeat Kennedy 1-0

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The Burbank Bulldogs came out victorious in walk-off fashion with Belinda Lujano delivering a game-winning, bases-loaded single to edge out the Kennedy Cougars 1-0 in the bottom of the 7th inning. Maddison Kellogg had a stellar outing in the pitcher’s circle, striking out 15 batters and allowing only two hits in the complete game shutout. Entering the contest, Kennedy was coming off a doubleheader loss to Canyon and Birmingham on Saturday, February 24th. At the same time, Burbank suffered a 1-0 loss to Canyon back on Thursday, February 29th.

It was a pitcher’s duel between Kellogg and Yvette Rodriguez for most of the game, but the Bulldogs tried to get the offense going in the bottom of the first inning. They started with back-to-back base hits by Eliza Bowren and Kara Valencia, but Kayla Orosco and Kellogg failed to put runs on the board in the bottom of the opening inning by leaving Valencia and Bowren on 1st and 3rd base.

Kellogg struck out the side in the top of the 2nd inning while Rodriguez retired the side to leave the score at 0 through 2 innings of play. The play of the day came in the top of the 3rd inning when Maddison Kellog struck out Sarah Olague with Eliza Bowren throwing out Vivana Yanex attempting to steal 2nd base to end the inning on a strikeout/throwout double play.

Burbank had a chance to get on the board again in the home half of the 3rd when Chloe Updike was hit by a pitch and Belinda Lujano moved her to 2nd base with a sacrifice bunt. Unfortunately, two groundouts followed to end the inning. Both the Bulldogs and Cougars continued to be held scoreless through the next two innings, but in the top of the 6th inning, Kennedy had a chance to score late. Sarah Olague hit a 1-out double, but Kellogg left Olaugue stranded by getting Alina Ortiz on a pop-out to 3rd to end the inning. Kellogg then retired the side in order in the top of the 7th inning to set up a chance for Burbank to walk it off in the bottom of the 7th inning.

Charley Barnett got the winning rally going with a clutch leadoff double followed by Abbie Kimmer advancing to first base on a hit by a pitch. Chloe Updike reached base on a walk to load the bases for Belinda Lujano. Lujano drove in Barnett to win the game with the bases-loaded RBI single to win the game for the Bulldogs.

“Charley led us off with a double and put the team in position to win the game with Lujano coming into the batter’s box with a different approach to just slap it, since she tried to hit and bunt earlier and came though which is a start for us growing offensively a bit more,” said Bulldogs coach Melissa Sanchez. Sanchez stated that this wasn’t Kellogg’s best day in the circle when asked about her 15-strikeout performance in the win, but that she struck out 19 batters against Royal in the Hart Tournament back on Saturday, February 17th, which was her best outing of the year.

Burbank improves to 5-4 while Kennedy drops to 2-4 on the season. The Bulldogs will return to action on Thursday, March 7th against Royal at 3:45 p.m. which will be the continuation of the game from Monday, February 26th that was suspended because of the rain. That game will resume with Royal up 1-0 in the bottom of the 2nd inning with a runner on 2nd base and the pitch count being 1 ball and no strikes. Kennedy will return to action on Saturday, March 9th with a doubleheader against Westlake and Glendale at the Simi Valley Tournament with first pitch times slated for 8 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.