GLENDALE — Just a day earlier, Crescenta Valley San Filippo’s major softball team had a chance to claim the Tri-Cities District 16 Tournament of Champions, but the Tujunga Bulldogs hung on for a one-run win, forcing one more game for the title.
In the tournament’s final contest Tuesday at Scholl Canyon, San Filippo struck first, but then saw its bats fall silent as the Bulldogs piled up runs.
“It was a culmination of a great series with the Bulldogs,” said San Filippo Coach Calvin Iyoya, whose team had beaten the Bulldogs, 1-0, in the third game of the tournament. “Great season we had. Today, unfortunately, was one of those days when our girls didn’t come with their bats.”
The Bulldogs (24-2), scored five in the first, three in the third and four in the fifth. They carried an 8-2 advantage into the bottom of the fifth, which Bulldog Trinity Frias led off with a double. Two outs and six batters later, Eldred came up with runners on the corners and poked a single down the left-field line to score Carly Oost and balloon the lead to 10 runs, ending the game.
“It is a pleasure to play [San Filippo],” Bulldogs Coach Brian Oost said. “They are a great team and they bring out the best in us, because if we don’t put our best on the field when we play them they will beat us. That’s a great team we played over there.”
San Filippo (13-10) jumped out to the early advantage with two runs in the top of the first. Tyler Herman led off with a single and scored three batters later on a Michela La Bellarte infield single. The second run came off the bat of Jordan Hinkle, who grounded into a fielder’s choice that brought home Joelle Ly from third.
“It was a really good season because we all worked together,” Hinkle said. “We all played really hard.”
However, the early advantage was short-lived, as the Bulldogs sent 10 batters to the plate in the bottom of the frame and scored five runs on a combination of strong hitting and shaky work in the field by the Crescenta Valley team.
“They might be sad now, but they should be proud of themselves, especially playing against the Bulldogs, who had a great season,” Iyoya said.
Bulldogs hurler Liz Meza went the distance in the circle for her team. After giving up the two runs in the first, she faced the minimum numbers of batters the rest of the way as the wind noticeably left the sails of San Filippo.
“We could have won this game if we just kept playing hard, but I think we gave up a little bit,” Hinkle said.
After the first inning, Hinkle was the only runner to reach base, on an infield single by in the fourth, but was soon erased when caught stealing.
“Hopefully our team is going to take away three things from a long season working together,” Iyoya said. “That is, one, always fight even if it seems out of reach. ... Two is try to think positive and [three is] be a team.”