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CVFH looks for third straight tournament title at Western Regionals

Softball: Junior All-Star squad looks to win third tournament title after Section, Division at Western Regionals.

July 31, 2012|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com
  • Crescenta Valley-Foothill pitcher and third baseman Adela Alatraca, right, takes part in a team practice before the team takes to the Western Regional Tournament.
Crescenta Valley-Foothill pitcher and third baseman… (Mike Mullen )

A more than decade-long drought for District 16 Junior All-Star softball ended Thursday when the Crescenta Valley-Foothill team stamped its ticket to Arizona for the Western Regional Tournament with a 5-4 win over Westchester Del Rey for the Southern California Division III championship.

Volunteer District 16 Administrator Dave Ritchie said "right around 2000" was the last time a District 16 Junior softball team — a joint Foothill-Tujunga squad — won a Division III title and advanced to regionals.

Still, CVFH's thirst for postseason glory has yet to be quenched, as it won't be content to simply compete in the double-elimination Western Regional Tournament.

"[The run] has been a lot of fun and it's incredible that we get to go to Arizona and keep playing," said CVFH leadoff hitter and second baseman Sammy Fabian. "I think we all expect we're going to have really good competition [at regionals] and we just have to work as hard as we can to win it all."

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The Western Regional opens with pool play. CVFH represents Southern California in Pool B, which consists of four other teams: Montana, Idaho, a to-be-determined host and Alaska. Pool A is composed of Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Northern California, Hawaii and Utah.

Tournament play kicks off Thursday with CVFH opening up against Montana at 5 p.m. If CVFH wins it will face Alaska Friday at 5 p.m. A loss would drop it into a loser's bracket game against the loser of Thursday's Idaho-host contest.

CVFH Coach Will Thayer hopes his team can start strong, as it has throughout the postseason, so it can settle into regional competition.

"Everybody is excited to go and hopefully in the first game we'll get out to an early start like we like to do and calm the nerves," said Thayer, whose team has scored in the first inning in five of seven postseason games.

What's made CVFH so dangerous this season is its balance offensively and defensively, particularly in the circle. Offensively, CVFH has averaged 8.9 runs a game, while holding the opposition to 2.1 runs.

The CVFH pitching staff, which is made up of ace Jordan Lousararian, closer Adela Alatraca and starters Alex Howard and Brenda Gamez, has recorded four shutouts this postseason.

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