Softball: Late-inning runs not enough against Mt. SAC

Teammates congratulate Briana Lopez (27) after her sixth-inning grand slam
Teammates congratulate Briana Lopez (27) after her sixth-inning grand slam

Looking to make a great comeback against Mt. San Antonio College on Thursday, the Cerritos College softball team came up a run short in a 9-8 South Coast Conference crossover game at Nancy Kelly Field on Thursday. Trailing 9-2 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, the Falcons (3-4) scored six times, with the big blow being a two-out, full count grand slam by sophomore catcher Briana Lopez (Norwalk HS). Cerritos will host Grossmont College (11:00 a.m.) and Southwestern College (1:30 p.m.) on Saturday.

Keeping the Mounties off the board in the top of the seventh inning, freshman designated player Kayla Hernandez (Santa Fe HS) led off the bottom of the seventh inning with a base hit. She was advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt by freshman shortstop Tena Spoolstra (Mayfair HS). Down to their final out, freshman outfielder Brianna Spoolstra (Mayfair HS) sent a hard line drive into center field. The ball appeared to be going over the head of Mt. SAC outfielder Candace Haliburton, but she was able to get her glove high enough to pull the ball out of the air for the final out of the game.

Mt. San Antonio took an early 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but the Falcons came right back in the bottom of the stanza to get two of those runs back. Lopez led off with a walk, advanced to second base on a wild pitch and moved to third base on a throwing error by Mounties pitcher Briana Wheeler, who fielded a bunt by freshman second baseman Kayla Aros (Torrance HS). After Aros stole second base, both runners came home on a two-out base hit by Hernandez.

Prior to the bases clearing home run by Lopez in the sixth inning, the Falcons had already scored twice. Freshman first baseman Keira Bolinas (Torrance HS) led off with a single, followed by a double from Hernandez. Tena Spoolstra and freshman pinch-hitter Nicoal Magdaleno (La Habra HS) each followed with RBI singles.

Hernandez finished the game going 4-for-4, while Lopez went 2-for-3 with a walk. Sophomore outfielder Emma Wolff (Mayfair HS) also reached base twice when she was hit by a pair of pitches. Freshman pitcher Sierra Gerdts (Montebello HS) struggled in the first inning, and after a slow start in her return to the circle in the fourth inning, settled down and allowed just one hit the final three innings.

Photos by Daryl Peterson