League-leading Crescenta Valley all that it could handle in a 1-0 loss.
In turn, the Falcons -- as is the nature of this efficient softball
machine -- handled it routinely, behind pitcher Meredith Cervenka (23-1),
who maintained her 0.00 earned-run average. And they did it with even
more pop than usual, despite only scoring once.
"We were hitting,," said CV Coach Dan Berry, whose squad improved to
24-1, 9-0 in league and clinched at least a share of the league title,
which it could claim outright with a win at Arcadia on Thursday.
"The bats were hot, we just didn't get the opportune hit [to break it
CV hitters reached base nine times and three Falcons combined for five
hits. Those included a seventh-inning triple by Sarah Sherman and
third-inning doubles by Tammy LaBreche and Mel McCauley, whose two-bagger
to center drove in Sherman, who had reached on an error, for the game's
"I'm just in a groove," said McCauley, who went three for four. "I've
got the timing down and I'm hitting the ball.
"[Everyone hitting] is definitely a positive factor, because
[Arcadia's] pitcher is better, so it's good to be hitting collectively."
But despite the Falcons' threats to score, it was the Tornadoes who
applied the pressure in the game's waning moments, thanks to the work of
Hoover pitcher Hailey Henning (5-9), who had much to do with the Falcons
not getting that opportune hit.
"Hailey's been pitching great all year," Kohlmeier said. "I think she
did every bit as good -- if not better -- than Meredith today."
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Hoover's freshman catcher
Michelle Summers -- who had singled to left-center field -- stood on
third base, 60 feet away from tying the game.
But Cervenka won the battle with Hoover's next batter, striking out
Shelly Henning, who had worked the count full.
"We played a good game," Kohlmeier said. "It's been a struggle with
this group to get them to believe in themselves, maybe today showed they
can do it."
2B: CV-LaBreche, McCauley.