Softball: Big innings propel Falcons to win

File Photo: Kayla Hernandez had a pair of RBI for the Falcons
File Photo: Kayla Hernandez had a pair of RBI for the Falcons

On Thursday in their South Coast Conference game at Compton College, the Cerritos College softball team scored nine times in the top of the first inning on their way to a 16-3, 5-inning win. The win by the Falcons improved their overall record to 20-15, marking the 12th season in a row that head coach Kodee Murray reached the 20-win plateau. They have won 20 or more games in 16 out of her 17 seasons. The team will now play a 5:00 p.m. conference crossover game on Friday at East Los Angeles College.

Even though they scored 16 runs, Cerritos collected just 12 hits, while they drew a season-high 12 walks. Sophomore designated player Briana Lopez (Norwalk HS) led off the game with a walk, advanced bases twice on wild pitches and then scored on a wild pitch as freshman shortstop Tena Spoolstra (Mayfair HS) drew a walk. The bases became loaded when freshman outfielder Brianna Spoolstra (Mayfair HS) singled and freshman first baseman Keira Bolinas (Torrance HS) drew a walk.

Freshman third baseman Kayla Hernandez (Santa Fe HS) brought in a run on a fielder's choice, followed by a run-scoring walk to freshman catcher Deja Sendejas (El Rancho HS). A single by sophomore second baseman Rain Vega (La Mirada HS), followed by an RBI walk to freshman outfielder Kayla Aros (Torrance HS) was then followed by an RBI groundout by sophomore outfielder Tatyana Peko (La Habra HS). Lopez drove in a pair of runs with a triple, with the final run scoring on a fielder's choice. By the time the dust settled, the Falcons scored nine runs on just three hits.

With the bases loaded in the top of the second inning, Lopez doubled to right-center field, which cleared the bases for three more runs. Sendejas then tripled in a run in the third inning and scored on a wild pitch, with Lopez hitting her second triple of the game in the fifth inning to drive in a run.

Lopez, who leads the state with 18 home runs, drove in six runs which moved her into fourth place in the state with 58 RBI. She still remains two round trippers behind Samantha Vaaulu, who set the college's single-season record of 20 home runs in 2009. The 58 RBI Lopez has are currently the fifth most in a season in Falcon history. Vaaulu (2009) and Jessica Navarro (2008) each share the single-season record when they drove in 71 runs.

Five different players drew a pair of walks apiece, while Hernandez, Sendejas and Vega all had two-hit games, with Lopez going 3-for-4. The 12 free passes also gives the Falcons 138 on the season, which is the third most for a team this year. Cerritos has led the state in walks the last five seasons.