What had been going around finally came back around on the Glendale Junior Softball All-Star team.
After dispatching Tehachapi by the 10-run mercy rule in the first round of the Section 2 Tournament, the girls got a taste of the other, bitter end of a blowout.
Coach Will Thayer struggled to come up with an explanation.
“They were flat from the get-go,” Thayer said. “It just snowballed on them. The more hits that they got and errors that we made, we just got lower and lower.”
The girls from Crescenta Valley, Foothill and Vaquero Little League will have to shake it off quickly. They play the winner of Tehachapi and San Marino’s Wednesday nightcap on Thursday night at 7.
Granada Hills jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, taking advantage of errors to score one run in each of the first two innings. Granada Hills’ leadoff batter reached on a walk, stole second on a lapse by the catcher and then reached third on a passed ball before scoring on a single.
The second run came in a similarly frustrating fashion. Third baseman Everly Pompa It started with an overthrow of first base on a routine grounder, allowing the runner to advance to third and score on a groundout.
“Everything went our way yesterday,” Thayer said of Tuesday’s Tehachapi win. “We had it happen to us today where everything went the other way. Yesterday I told the girls, I didn't get too high about it because I've had that happen to me. Little did I know it would happen 24 hours later.”
The game got away from Glendale in the third inning. Granada Hills sent 16 batters to the box, plating 12 of them.
To make matters worse, leadoff hitter Esme Piedra sprained her ankle fielding a ball in right field. The next Granada Hills batter sent a towering shot over her head that landed for a triple and she had to come out of the game after tracking it down.
Though Piedra re-entered the game to bat in the fourth inning, her status for Thursday’s game is up in the air.
“She just rolled over it, I was watching the play,” Thayer said. “She's all taped up and we'll see how it goes. She's a bit tight now and in 24 hours that's a tough injury. The upper ankle sprains are the hardest ones to come back from.”
Not that it needed any more insurance, but Granada Hills tacked on two more runs in the fourth and six in the fifth.
Thayer kept the result in perspective, knowing that his team has one more lifeline in the tournament.
“I've been on both sides before,” Thayer said. “It's up to them now how they respond. It's one of those days where everything they hit fell and we did a lot of things wrong. I'm not that angry about it at this point. I'm not going to go out there and chew them out for it.”
Though he wasn’t looking for excuses, Thayer pointed out that this All-Star team has only played six games together.
There was a bright spot through all of it. Emily Mulcahey rocketed a solo home run over the left field fence in the fourth inning, giving the players and their fans something to cheer about.
“I wanted to start a rally with everyone,” Mulcahey said. “I wanted to get everybody up, thought maybe we needed something big to get everybody off the bench and happy. I was just thinking to get the bat on the ball.”
Mulcahey too kept a level head on the matter.
“Just like anything, you can't win it all. We just have to come back stronger we can do it,” she said.