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Rancho Bernardo backup takes charge

03/12/2013, 11:06pm PDT
By Glae Thien, Special to the U-T

Broncos sophomore pitcher goes distance in Cougar Classic title game.

Rancho Bernardo catcher Claire Ramirez tags out Carlsbad’s Erica Piancastelli as the Broncos clinched the Gold Division title.

— As the backup pitcher for Rancho Bernardo High’s softball team, sophomore Kendall Brundrett works to keep sharp for any situation. Say, even a tournament championship game.

Brundrett drew the call at the Cougar Classic on Tuesday night when the Broncos rested ace Sara White in their second game of the day, and she held firm to help key a 7-3 victory over Carlsbad in six innings due to the time limit for the Gold Division title at Kit Carson Park.

“I was really excited, and I wanted to pitch real good and win,” said Brundrett, who tossed a seven-hitter in her second game of the young season. “Also, I have friends on that team, and I wanted to beat them.”

Brundrett allowed a run on back-to-back triples to open the third inning, evening the score at 3-3, but then shut down the Lancers (4-1-1). In the bottom half, the Broncos (5-1) went back ahead on an unearned run.

Sophomore Brianna Burchianti went 3-for-4 to spark a nine-hit attack for Rancho Bernardo.

Another RB sophomore, Elizabeth Runge, completed a double play on defense with a strong throw from right field.

“I felt we were going to win,” Burchianti said. “We have a lot of talent, and I’m confident that we’ll do well this season.”

The Broncos have eight returning players from last season’s team that reached the San Diego Section Division II final.

Erica Piancastelli led Carlsbad with two triples and three RBI.

In the semifinals, the Lancers avenged a loss to Torrey Pines in last year’s Division I section final with a 1-0 victory in six innings.

“Our returners were in more of a supporting role last season, and now we’re asking them to be stars,” Carlsbad coach Dan Worley said. “We’re coming along.”

The Broncos advanced with a 3-1 semifinal triumph over Steele Canyon.

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