Softball: Power, pitching, patience and defense come together in win

Falcons celebrate after Brianna Spoolstra's game-ending grand slam
Falcons celebrate after Brianna Spoolstra's game-ending grand slam

Playing their sixth game in the last six days, the Cerritos College softball team saw everything come together in a 14-3, 5-inning win over Fullerton College at Nancy Kelly Field on Monday. The Falcons (5-5) used patience at the plate to help them score seven times in the second inning, while freshman Sierra Gerdts (Montebello HS) held the Hornets (2-1) in check in four of the five innings. Additionally, sophomore Briana Lopez (Norwalk HS), the team's regular catcher, was inserted into left field and made a spectacular throw to double up a baserunner, and the team hit a pair of home runs, including a walk-off grand slam from freshman outfielder Brianna Spoolstra (Mayfair HS) to record the mercy win.

The offensive output started in the bottom of the second inning when Spoolstra and freshman third baseman Kayla Hernandez (Santa Fe HS) led off with consecutive singles. With one out, freshman outfielder Kayla Aros (Torrance HS) loaded the bases with another single. A pitching change brought on Shelby Boehmer, who walked in runs with sophomore second baseman Rain Vega (La Mirada HS) and freshman Deja Sendejas (El Rancho HS) at the plate. Lopez was then hit by a pitch to bring in another run, with freshman shortstop Tena Spoolstra (Mayfair HS) drawing the third bases loaded walk in the inning.

Hernandez followed with a ground ball between shortstop and third base that scored a run, with the final run coming on a single from freshman first baseman Keira Bolinas (Torrance HS).

Gerdts (5-5) allowed just one hit through the first three innings. An error to open the fourth inning would not hurt her, as Lopez fielded a line drive in deep left field and then threw a bullet to Bolinas at first base for an inning-ending double play. Lopez then led off the bottom of the inning with a mammoth opposite field home run. The Hornets kept the game alive with a three-run fifth inning, but the Falcons had an answer.

Vega doubled and scored on a base hit by Sendejas, with Lopez reaching base on an error in the bottom of the fifth inning. Looking to end the game on the eight-run mercy rule, Tena Spoolstra drew a walk to load the bases for her sister, Brianna Spoolstra. She launched a towering home run, the Falcons third grand slam of the season, to finish off the Hornets and finished the game 3-for-4 with five RBI.

Cerritos will travel to Pasadena City College on Tuesday for a 2:30 p.m. South Coast Conference crossover game.

Photos by Daryl Peterson