LA CRESCENTA — It's no secret that Hannah Cookson is among the elite hitters in the Pacific League and likely beyond.
Cookson provided further evidence Tuesday, as she hit two home runs and drove in seven runs to power Crescenta Valley to a 10-0 home win against Glendale in a league game called in the fifth inning because of the 10-run mercy rule.
“She got that nice, smooth swing,” said Crescenta Valley first-year Coach John Pehar, whose team improved to 6-5, 2-1 in league. “I have confidence she's going to hit the ball almost all the time.”
Cookson had a run-scoring double in the first, before hitting a two-run home run in the third and a grand slam in the fourth to help Crescenta Valley turn back Glendale (9-3, 1-2) in the first of two season meetings. The Falcons and Nitros will match up again May 1 at Glendale.
The Falcons also received three hits from Hailey Cookson and Calley Ellingford. Crescenta Valley collected 14 hits against Glendale.
The Long Beach State-bound Cookson, a reigning All-Area pick, enjoyed one of her best performances of the season and helped the Falcons snap a three-game losing streak.
“You are always looking to go out there and put together a good at-bat,” Cookson said. “You know going in that there's always room for improvement.
“We were able to have some people get it started by getting on base.”
Cookson gave the Falcons a 1-0 lead with a double to left-center field in the first. She then hit a two-run home run to center field to make it 3-0 before Hailey Cookson, Hannah's younger sister, had a run-scoring single to extend the lead to 4-0 in the third.
Cookson hit her grand slam to center with no outs in the fourth to provide Crescenta Valley with an 8-0 advantage. Chloe Fairbrother and Rachael Abboud then had run-scoring hits to complete the scoring.
“We had a little hiccup last week with the [7-3 league] loss against Burroughs,” Pehar said. “Everybody will get better.
“We certainly couldn't take Glendale lightly.”
Crescenta Valley senior starting pitcher Olivia Thayer went the distance, striking out six. She limited the Nitros to six hits, all singles.
Glendale's best scoring opportunity came in the first. The Nitros had their first two batters reach base before Thayer silenced them.
“We were able to get some runners on, but we couldn't cash in the chances,” Glendale first-year Coach Greg Martin said. “I liked the way we didn't quit and stayed with it until the end.
“Hannah is just a great player and she had a great game. Tip your hat to CV. Olivia did what she had to do by staying poised. I thought [Glendale pitcher] Jordan [Lousararian] did a great job of trying to neutralize their hitters.”
Glendale received two hits apiece from Sammy Fabian and Sarah Brockway.