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Glendale softball strikes in sixth to defeat Hoover

Softball: Sixth-inning momentum swing keys Nitros' 11-5 win over Hoover.

April 18, 2013|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com
  • Hoover's catcher Jenesy Gonzalez, left, tags Glendale's Alex Howard in a Pacific League softball game the Nitros won, 11-5.
Hoover's catcher Jenesy Gonzalez, left, tags Glendale's… (Tim Berger/Staff…)

GLENDALE — Glendale High’s softball got the quick start it desired.

But archrival Hoover kept coming back, nipping at the host Nitros’ heels.

That all changed in a momentous sixth inning in which the Tornadoes came one disputed call away from tying the game in the top of the stanza and the Nitros exploded for five runs in their half, sealing an 11-5 Pacific League victory.

“That’s what it is, it’s momentum,” said Nitros Coach Christine Paknik, whose team improved to 5-8 and 3-4 in league. “That’s what we’ve been preaching to them is setting the tone and momentum.”

Hoover (5-7, 1-6 in league) used a pair of infield singles and a hit by pitch to load the bases in the top of the sixth and when Alejandra Villasenior was hit by a pitch with two outs it pushed Karina Moreno across to cut the score to 6-5.

The ensuing pitch was a wild throw by Glendale pitcher Alex Howard. Nitros catcher Grace Sinisterra hustled for the ball, flipped it to Howard and she tagged out Hoover’s Kaitlyn Williams, who slid in head first. The Tornadoes fans erupted in argument and Hoover Coach Rich Henning followed. It was to no avail, though, and the momentum swing increased immediately.

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Meghan Spencer led off the bottom of the sixth with a single for the Nitros and the offensive parade continued with a Howard single scoring Spencer to make it 7-5 before a Jordan Lousarrarian single led to three more runs scoring and Lousarrarian upped the tally to 11-5 when she stole home on a rundown.

“I think we all came in with a lot of intensity for Hoover,” said Lousarrarian, who was four for four with four runs batted in and three runs scored. “I think it took us a while to settle down and take control.”

Henning gave credit to Glendale, but was also quick to point out the impact he felt the umpires played on the game.

“The calls that went against us totally cost us the game. Everybody has eyes,” said Henning, who, along with his first-base coach, disputed more than a few calls. “The bad call at home plate had a lot to do with [the momentum changing].

“Give Glendale credit. They hit the ball, they put the pressure on and they took advantage of our mistakes.”

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