Burbank kicks off Pacific League play with an 11-2 win over Hoover

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In the Pacific League opener for both Burbank and Hoover, the Bulldogs come out victorious with an 11-2 win over the Tornados. The Bulldogs were led by a complete game from pitcher Samantha Cafferty and Kara Valencia’s inside-the-park home run in the bottom of the 4th inning to help Burbank start Pacific League play with a victory. Cafferty allowed 2 runs, struck out 5 batters, and allowed 6 hits in 7 innings of work in the circle. Hoover was coming off a 16-5 win over St Pius X St Matthias Academy back on Saturday, March 9th to kick off their season with a surprising 5-2 start. Burbank entered the contest with a 1-1 record at the Santa Fe Tournament. The Bulldogs lost 9-2 to JW North and won 6-2 to Diamond Bar on the 1st weekend of the Santa Fe Tournament this past Saturday.

Samantha Cafferty retired the side in order in the top of the 1st inning. Kara Valencia got the scoring going in the home half of the inning, driving home Belinda Lujano with an RBI single to put Burbank ahead 1-0. The Bulldogs had chances to add more runs that inning, but left the runners on 2nd and 3rd to end the bottom half of the opening frame. Cafferty, in her 2nd inning of work, worked around a leadoff double by Giselle Ascenico by striking out 3 batters to end the top of the 2nd inning. Chloe Updike started the Burbank half of the 2nd inning with a leadoff single, while Breeana Tapia followed up with a single. Both were left on 2nd and 3rd base to keep the score at 1-0.

Cafferty retired the side in order in the top of the 3rd inning and Burbank followed with a 5-run bottom of the 3rd inning with back-to-back sacrifice fly plays by Kara Valencia and Charley Barnett. The 2-out rally started when Updike hit a bloop single, stole 2nd and 3rd base, and scored on a single by Breeana Tapia. Lujano later drove in Bralyen Keegan with an RBI triple to give the Bulldogs a 6-0 lead.

Hoover got on the board in the top of the 4th inning with an RBI single by Kim DeLon to score Paola Cano. Burbank added 2 more runs in the bottom of the 4th inning with Valencia’s inside-the-park home run and Charlie Barnett scoring on a wild pitch to make the score 8-0.

Hoover added a 2nd run in the top of the 5th inning with a 1-out RBI single by Evelyn Ortiz to score Natalie Mensoka, while Hannah Parker was out at 2nd base on the throw by the centerfielder Valencia. Three more runs were added on the board in the home half of the 5th inning when Valencia stole home and Abbie Kimmer drove home Barnett and Cafferty to push the score to 11-2.

Both Burbank and Hoover had scoring chances in the 6th but left the runners stranded in the top and bottom halves of the inning. Cafferty worked around a leadoff walk by recording a game-ending double play with Ortiz flying out to the center fielder Valencia and with Parker out at 1st base on the throwout.

“We gave other girls a chance to play in the game and rested our main starters but it was a fun game against Hoover,” said Bulldogs coach Melissa Sanchez. Sanchez also stated that Sam Cafferty did her job in the circle.

Burbank improves to 7-5 overall and 1-0 in Pacific League play while Hoover falls to 5-3 overall and 0-1 in Pacific League play. Both teams will continue league play on Thursday, March 14th with Burbank hosting Arcadia and Hoover playing a road contest with the Crescenta Valley. Both games will be slated for 3:45 p.m. first pitch.