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Cookson, Crescenta Valley High softball blast past Arcadia

Softball: All-Area center fielder does it with bat, glove to lead Falcons to 3-1 win over rivals.

April 25, 2014|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com
  • Crescenta Valley High ran off with a 3-1 win over rival Arcadia on Friday.
Crescenta Valley High ran off with a 3-1 win over rival… (Tim Berger Staff…)

LA CRESCENTA — For four seasons, Crescenta Valley High’s Hannah Cookson has drawn acclaim largely due to her dangerous bat in the heart of the Falcons’ lineup.

But her glove and range in center field have been steady, if not spectacular, all along.

In a pivotal Pacific League game against archrival Arcadia on Friday afternoon at Crescenta Valley High, Cookson shined in all facets.

PHOTOS: Cookson leads Crescenta Valley to 3-1 victory

Her two-run home run propelled Crescenta Valley to a lead it would not relinquish and a dazzling over-the-shoulder catch sealed the Falcons’ 3-1 victory over the Apaches.

“That’s just who she is,” Falcons Coach John Pehar said. “It was impressive to watch.”

With Arcadia grabbing a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, Cookson came to the plate in the bottom of the inning with sister Hailey, who had two hits, on third base. Hannah took the first pitch she saw and sent it beyond the left-field fence for a 2-1 lead.

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Hannah finished the day three for three, following with a pair of singles, and was flawless on the defensive end, including a phenomenal catch in the top of the fifth as she dove to her right to snag a ball just before it hit the outfield grass.

And in the top of the seventh, with a runner at third and the tying runner at the plate, she tracked down a shot to the fence, running to her right and securing the catch over her shoulder.

“I was just like, ‘I gotta get it or else,’” she said. “I wanted it – I wanted the last out.”

The victory was an important one for the Falcons, who have now won six in a row. They improved to 13-6, 6-2 in league to forge a second-place tie with Burroughs two games behind frontrunner Burbank and two games in front of Arcadia (6-10, 4-4) and Glendale. Not to mention, the win came at the expense of Crescenta Valley’s rival.

“It’s Arcadia, so that says most of it,” Hannah said. “We always get pumped up for Arcadia.”

All of Crescenta Valley’s runs came via the long ball, as No. 9 hitter Sydnee Wells sent a shot over the center-field fence for a solo home run in the bottom of the second.

Though it might have seemed as if the offense was just getting started for the Falcons, it was ending, at least in terms of scoring runs. But pitcher Olivia Thayer danced out of trouble all game long backed by a flawless defense.

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