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Red Hots come close, but fall short to Tujunga

Softball: CV major squad loses with shot at championship berth on the line.

June 15, 2013|By Nathan Cambridge, Special to the Glendale News-Press

GLENDALE — In an initial meeting, the Crescenta Valley Red Hots major softball team suffered a mercy-rule loss at the hands of the Tujunga Bulldogs that dropped them to the bottom bracket of the Tri-Cities District 16 Tournament of Champions.

Undeterred, the Red Hots battled back to win their next two games, setting up a rematch with the Bulldogs Saturday afternoon at Scholl Canyon with a chance to play for the title on the line.

Saturday turned out to be a completely different story, but the same result, as the Red Hots gave the Bulldogs all they could handle, overcoming an early deficit and scoring five runs in the final two innings before falling just short, 9-8.

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“I’m so proud of these girls. I can’t really say much more,” Red Hot Coach David Fox said. “They were in this game through the entire six innings. It was a great job.”

The Bulldogs (22-2), who led, 5-0, after one inning, carried a 9-5 advantage into the bottom of the sixth.

With one out, the Red Hots got their next two batters to reach base. Starting pitcher Liz Meza, who had pitched the first four innings, then came back to the circle to face Red Hot Brianna McReynolds. McReynolds hit the fourth pitch of her at-bat just over the second base bag, driving in two, and raced around the bases for a triple.

“Basically what we were doing was fake bunting until we got them to throw strikes,” McReynolds said, “and when I finally got the perfect pitch I tried to lob it over the outfielder. It didn’t work, but luckily the outfielder was just walking to the ball, so I was able to get to third and I slid in.”

Crescenta Valley’s Elizabeth Heinemann then struck out, but she made it a productive one. After the Tujunga catcher dropped the third strike, she hustled down the line, forcing the Bulldogs catcher to throw her out, allowing McReynolds to score and cutting the lead to a single run. However, that would be as close as the Red Hots would get as Meza recorded her ninth strikeout of the contest to end the game.

“We would have rather won, but a loss is OK the way they played,” Fox said.

The Red Hots (14-10) fell into an early hole, giving up five runs in the first innings due to a combination of less-than-crisp fielding and strong Bulldogs hitting. Taylor Hoogenhuizen, who went the distance for the Red Hots in the circle, finally struck out her second batter of the frame to end the inning.

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