Softball: Cerritos walks their way to Kodee Murray's 502 career win

The Cerritos softball team after Kodee Murray won her 502 career game
The Cerritos softball team after Kodee Murray won her 502 career game

It's only fitting that the team who has led the state in walks for the last five seasons wins their season-opening game on a bases loaded walk. The 8-7 win over visiting Orange Coast College on Friday also served as head coach Kodee Murray's 502nd career win, which ties her with legendary coach Nancy Kelly, who won 502 games for the Falcons from 1976-1998. Murray, who is in her 17th season as the head coach, will get a chance to be the college's winningest coach when Cerritos travels to Palomar College on Saturday for a 1:00 p.m. game.

After spotting the Pirates a 6-1 lead, the Falcons scored six times in the bottom of the sixth inning to take the lead, 7-6. When Orange Coast tied the game with a run in the top of the seventh inning, Cerritos drew four of their 10 walks on the day in the bottom of the stanza to record the win. The game-winning walk-off run came when sophomore catcher Briana Lopez (Norwalk HS) showed her patience at the plate, which drove in freshman shortstop Tena Spoolstra (Mayfair HS), who doubled and then stole third base before scoring.

In the team's six-run sixth inning, freshman first baseman Keira Bolinas (Torrance HS) led of with a walk, followed by a pair of singles from freshman designated player Kayla Hernandez (Santa Fe HS) and Spoolstra. Freshman outfielder Brianna Spoolstra (Mayfair HS) drove in a run with a walk, while a fielder's choice from freshman pinch-hitter Nicoal Magdaleno (La Habra HS), and then another from freshman second baseman Kayla Aros (Torrance HS) each drove in runs. The team eventually took a 7-6 lead when sophomore third baseman Rain Vega (La Mirada HS) doubled in a pair.

Freshman starting pitcher Sierra Gerdts (Montebello HS) tossed a complete game to earn the win, but did surrender 12 hits (including three home runs). She stepped up and shut down the Pirates when needed and recorded four strikeouts on the day.

Photos by Daryl Peterson