ARCADIA — Following its biggest victory of the season, the Glendale High softball team found itself in a Pacific League game pivotal to its playoff aspirations.
But in one of its biggest games, the Nitros got anything but a big-time performance, as six Glendale errors and 16 Arcadia hits added up to a 14-7 Apaches win on Tuesday afternoon at Arcadia High.
“We had a couple of untimely errors,” said Nitros Coach Greg Martin, whose team grabbed an early 2-0 lead, but relinquished it due to a game-changing three-run, two-error second and a six-run fifth that spelled doom for Glendale.
Heading into Tuesday, Arcadia (9-10, 7-4), Glendale (14-6, 6-5) and Crescenta Valley (13-5, 6-5) were tied for third in league after the Nitros defeated the Falcons on Thursday. But following Tuesday’s slate, which included Crescenta Valley losing to Burbank, 3-1, Arcadia is alone in third, while Glendale and CV are tied for fourth and the final automatic playoff spot.
“We need to learn to win on the road,” said Martin, whose Nitros have now split the season series with Arcadia, as they did with CV. “Both our signature wins this year — CV and Arcadia — were at home.”
Sammy Fabian (three for three, three runs, a walk and a stolen base) and Sarah Brockway scored in the top of the first for a 2-0 Glendale advantage, but it was hardly a sign of good things to come.
Arcadia evened the game in its half of the first and then scored three runs in the fifth, two coming on a single that got past the left fielder for a three-base error and resulted in a 5-2 Arcadia lead.
Alex Howard (two hits, three runs batted in) plated Fabian on a shallow sacrifice fly in the third and a Howard single scored Fabian in the fourth to tie the game at 5 after Tiffany Bartamian scored on an error.
But Arcadia surged back ahead in the fourth for a 6-5 lead it never gave back up, thanks in part to a six-run fifth that saw four hits, an error, a walk and a hit batter.
It also spelled the end of the day for Glendale starter Jordan Lousararian, who had done her best to pitch through illness.
“I felt I was a little too hesitant making a pitching change,” Martin said. “That was on me.”
Thus, after defeating Arcadia in the team’s first meeting, 7-5, the Nitros were trailing, 14-5, with two runners on in the sixth, looking at a possible mercy rule stoppage before recording the final out of the stanza.
The Nitros did their best to show some fight as Eden Marzucco singled in Grace Sinisterra and Sophie Georges for the final tally in the top of the seventh.
“I like that we battled back,” said Martin, who also got two-hit efforts from Tiffany Bartamian, Lousararian and Rachel Bartamian in an overall 13-hit effort. “A lot of teams would’ve just folded up shop being down that much.”
Glendale will now have to battle back with three games remaining, starting at home Thursday against Pasadena, in the hopes of clinching a playoff spot.
Follow Grant Gordon on Twitter: @TCNGrantGordon.