First published in the June 2 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.
The La Cañada Baseball Softball Association’s 12-and-under Cardinal Summer All-Star softball team was all business at the El Rio Beach Blast Tournament in Oxnard, winning three consecutive games before falling to a talented Westlake squad in the championship game.
The LCBSA team took the field against Pasadena on May 21 and Alexandra Kelly pitched her team to a 7-2 victory and La Cañada remained hot against Santa Monica and West Valley.
Abby Weiss homered in a five-run second inning, catapulting LC to a 7-2 win, and the team followed that up with a 9-5 victory behind another solid pitching performance from Kelly and two-hit performances from Weiss and Lily Kazazian.
Molly Danni was solid behind the plate, catching 11 innings over two games on Sunday while collecting four hits, including a double, in the tournament. Natalia Eastman, seemingly one of the fastest players in league history, also collected four hits and was a menace on the basepaths with four stolen bases. Eastman, Kazazian, Kendall Busta, Chloe Yee and Brooke Soto anchored the outfield, limiting opponents to just two extra base hits over four games.
The infield was equally effective, making difficult plays look routine, none more important than third baseman Brooklyn Nakasone’s snag of a line drive against West Valley in the second inning, ending a would-be rally with a double play. Shortstop Katie Baker, second baseman Camryn Cha and first baseman Charlotte Willes were stellar in the infield and contributed offensively, reaching base six times and scoring 12 runs, collectively. Kelly proved wizardly as a fielder on the mound, reaching base seven times while at the plate.
La Cañada fought hard against Agoura Thunder of Westlake in the championship, tying the game 2-2 in the fourth inning after a double from Weiss and RBIs from Willes and Danni. The Thunder took a one-run lead in the bottom of the fifth and the bats got hot for both teams in the final two innings, but LC was outscored 11-5 in the last two frames and fell 14-7.