"We fought all day and came from behind," said Crescenta Valley Coach Dan Berry, whose team shared the Pacific League championship with Burroughs. "We had a heck of a year, but it wasn't meant to be [Thursday]."
The two-hour game featured plenty of twists and turns for Crescenta Valley (21-4) and Oak Park (19-9).
Added to the mix was an unpredictable wind pattern that knocked down a hard-hit ball by Crescenta Valley's Hannah Cookson in the sixth that quelled another potential big inning.
"It was definitely a strange game," Berry said. "We had some chances."
The game also proved to be the final one for Crescenta Valley standout pitcher Erin Ashby, who struggled at times against Oak Park's talented and disciplined lineup. The Stanford-bound Ashby, the reigning All-Area Player of the Year, stood on deck looking for one more at-bat to extend the Falcons' season.
It never materialized.
"We came into the game in a good state of mind," said Ashby, who struck out six and yielded five walks. "We had some tough spots and we couldn't quite recoup.
"Sometimes the outcome doesn't turn out the way you would like it to be."
Oak Park, which finished second in the Tri-Valley League behind top-seeded Oaks Christian, took a 2-0 lead in the first. With one out, Christine Langlois lined a triple to right to score Morgan Schlobohm to make it 1-0. With two outs, Ashby walked Emily Dinino. Dinino stole second and the throw by the catcher went into center field, allowing Langlois to score for a 2-0 advantage.
The Falcons came back with a run in the third. With one out, Ashby singled and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Allison Lacey. Cookson then doubled to score Ashby.