GLENDALE — Offense has been abundant for the Glendale High softball team, and even with a nine-day layoff, the trend continued when the Nitros wrapped up nonleague play Tuesday afternoon.
Showcasing a 12-hit attack, the Nitros erupted for four first-inning runs and never looked back in a 9-2 win over visiting Alhambra on a chilly day at Glendale High.
“I was a little bit worried about losing our momentum with the layoff and our bats opened up right away,” said Glendale first-year Coach Greg Martin, whose Nitros won their eighth in a row to improve to 8-1 on the season with their Pacific League opener awaiting next week at Burroughs. “This was a tune-up game and I’m looking forward to Burroughs.”
Freshman Sammy Fabian, who had three hits, three runs and four of her team’s six stolen bases, led off the bottom of the first with a single up the middle and Glendale was off and running.
The Nitros started with four consecutive hits, with a triple by sophomore Alex Howard (two hits, three runs batted in) that scored Fabian and junior Sarah Brockway (two hits, walk and stolen base) and a single by freshman Tiffany Bartamian, which scored Howard. Bartamian would later score on a wild pitch for the early 4-0 cushion.
Glendale followed with runs in the second, third and fourth innings, giving sophomore starting pitcher Jordan Lousararian more than enough run support.
Lousararian, who had two hits, didn’t have the greatest of starts, as she walked the first two batters of the game, but then retired the side in order, carrying a no-hitter into the fifth inning.
“I started off a little shaky, but I think I did a good job settling down,” Lousararian said.
Lousararian went the full seven innings, allowing two unearned runs and just one hit. She also struck out seven, though she walked five.
It was the seventh time Glendale has scored seven or more runs in a game, having scored 77 runs in nine games.
“I think we’ve got a lot more confident as we’ve gone along,” Lousararian said. “It’s definitely showing at the plate.”
After stranding two runs in the top of the first inning and falling behind by four in the bottom half, Alhambra (3-5) was never really in the game and the Nitros never let off the gas.
“We knew that from the get-go, we had to go hard,” Fabian said. “We knew that we had to win every single inning.”
A Howard single plated Fabian in the second to bring the score to 5-0 and the Nitros scored two more in the third when courtesy runner Gissela Aguayo, a senior, came around on an error and sophomore Grace Sinisterra scored on a line drive to center field by sophomore Claire Smith.
Fabian chopped an infield single to lead off the fourth before stealing second and third and scoring on a Brockway squeeze bunt. Later in the inning, Brockway scored for a 9-1 lead, but Howard was tagged out at home trying to score on a wild pitch, as Glendale had three runners thrown out on the basepaths. Most troubling, however, was that Howard was injured on the play and was helped off the field by teammates. Martin said he believes it to be a badly bruised shin and shouldn’t be too serious.
Now, the upstart Nitros, who had just two seniors in Tuesday’s starting lineup, look to make some noise in the Pacific League, beginning April 1 at Olive Park against Burroughs.
“I think we’ve improved a lot throughout the preseason,” Lousararian said. “Every game we’re getting better.”
Said Fabian: “We’re just growing as a team. We know if we play our best, we can beat anybody.”