SOFTBALL: Interesting games in Pacific and Rio Hondo Leagues

Key battles highlight softball schedules

Arcadia hosts Burbank Thursday hoping to jump into a tie for second in the Pacific League. The Apaches lost the first meeting to the Bulldogs 12-1.

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In the Rio Hondo League, the much-anticipated game for sole possession of first place Friday between Temple City and La Canada has turned into one team trying to catch the other after the Spartans fell to San Marino 7-5 Wednesday. La Canada will definitely remember the Titans, but can still make its mark in the league title race with a victory. Both teams enter the game with a win in the three-game series. Friday’s tilt will decide the tiebreaker.

Apaches prepared for big game
By Scott Galetti, Staff Writer
With a big game against Burbank coming up today, Arcadia High School’s softball team couldn’t have asked for a bigger boost of confidence.
Apaches pitcher Patricia Stark didn’t allow a hit and the team’s bats came alive in a five-inning, 14-0 win over Pasadena on Tuesday.
“I was very proud of Patricia,” Arcadia coach Megan Leahy said. “She’s shown great composure over the course of the season and she was backed by some great defense.”
Stark also was backed by some solid offense.
Dusty Gibbs tripled and Caitlyn Leahy doubled as Arcadia (10-6, 7-2) had 13 hits to bounce back from a 7-3 loss to undefeated Crescenta Valley on April 3.
The Apaches have won six of seven.
Things will be much tougher when another team of Bulldogs comes to town with a share of second place in the Pacific League on the line.
Burbank (16-1, 7-1) has won five in a row since its only loss of the season, a 5-3 setback to Crescenta Valley.
In those five victories, the Bulldogs have outscored their opponents 55-5.
The Bulldogs won the first meeting, 12-1, March 19, but Leahy is excited about the rematch.
“It’s going to be a great game, and we’re ready for them,” Leahy said. “We have a little more experience under our belt and we’re playing better as a team.”
READY TO RUMBLE
A share of first place in the Rio Hondo League will be at stake Friday when Temple City (14-4-1, 6-1 hosts La Canada (10-5, 6-2).
Both teams own a road victory in the three-game series. The Spartans shut out the Rams 1-0 on March 14. Temple City bounced back with a 9-2 win April 1.
The Spartans dropped a 7-5 decision to San Marino Wednesday to fall a half-game behind the Rams.
“If Temple City wins, they’re definitely in the driver’s seat,” La Can ada coach K.C. Mathews said. “If we win we still control our own destiny because of head to head.”
Added Temple City coach Bob Ellingsworth: “I think it’s something everyone’s been looking forward to.”
Both teams enter the game playing well.
La Can ada has won two of three and eight of nine.
The Rams had their seven-game winning streak snapped in a 6-3 loss to La Serna on Monday. Temple City has won 11 of its last 13 (11-1-1).
“They’ve always had the talent,” Ellingsworth said of La Canada. “They just weren’t as together as a team as they are this year.”
Ellingsworth has been juggling his lineup all season long because of various injuries.
He is hoping to have shortstop Veronica Grant back in the lineup Friday.
Grant has been sidelined for close to three weeks by a knee injury.
`She’s hoping to be ready for that game,” Ellingsworth said. “We haven’t had a full team out there yet. Hopefully everybody gets healthy by CIF.”
AZTECS STILL IN HUNT
Keppel (13-3, 4-1) has a pair of victories since a 3-2 defeat at Montebello (6-12, 4-1) on April 15.
The Aztecs will host Bell Gardens today and travel to Alhambra on Tuesday before a rematch with the Oilers, potentially for first place, on May 1.