Crescenta Valley High's offensive output was minimal at best, but surprisingly it proved more than enough to upset previously undefeated Hoover, 3-1, Thursday in a Pacific League softball game in front of about 200 at Montrose Community Park.
The Falcons (15-1, 5-0 in league play) managed only two hits off Hoover ace Nancy Evans, but the Tornadoes (18-1-1, 4-1) pitched in with three key errors--all of which contributed to Crescenta Valley's three unearned runs in the second and third innings.
Before Thursday, no team had scored more than two runs against Hoover, which is ranked No. 2 in the state, according to Cal-Hi Sports.
"They wanted to go undefeated," Hoover Coach Kirt Kohlmeier said. "Now they know what it's like to lose one."
After Arizona-bound Evans retired the first three batters on two strikeouts and a groundout in the first inning, Crescenta Valley's Elizabeth Barnes singled to left to lead off the second. Evans retired the next two batters, but Barnes advanced to third in the meantime. When Amanda Huddleston's hard chopper got past shortstop Shannon Feliz, Barnes scored and Huddleston ended up at second. On the next pitch, Erin Linnemeyer singled down the first base line, allowing Huddleston to score for a 2-0 Crescenta Valley lead.
In the third, Crescenta Valley's Sarah Perez and Stephanie Kanzler reached base on errors to start the inning. Perez was forced out at third, but Kanzler, who advanced to third on a passed ball, scored on Barnes' sacrifice fly to right field.
Evans (18-1), who had a season-low five strikeouts, retired 10 of the next 11, but it was too late. Despite the errors, she took the blame.
"I think I could have done much better," Evans said. "I don't feel I got into a groove today at all."
Kohlmeier blamed the loss on the season-high three "no-brainer" errors.
"We were a little too pumped up for this game," Kohlmeier said.
Hoover had several chances to score, but stranded seven runners--six in scoring position. The Falcons made things interesting by committing four errors, but none ended up hurting Crescenta Valley. When the Falcons needed a big out, they always got it.
"The defense has been doing a great job for us all year," Crescenta Valley Coach Dan Berry said. "Everyone just rose to the occasion."
Hoover scored its only run in the fourth. Kelly Christiansen (two for three) led off with an infield single and scored when Brenda Lyon (two for three) singled up the middle.
Crescenta Valley sophomore right-hander Danielle Robertshaw (14-1) gave up six hits.