Softball: Lead slips away in final conference game

Allyanna Hernandez reached base twice in her first start of the season.
Allyanna Hernandez reached base twice in her first start of the season.

Fighting for one of the 18 coveted Southern California Regional Playoff spots, the Cerritos College softball team suffered a 7-3 loss in their final South Coast Conference game against El Camino College at Nancy Kelly Field on Tuesday. The Falcons (19-19, 12-10) have one more regular season game remaining and will travel to Grossmont College for a 3:00 p.m. non-conference game on Wednesday.

Facing the conference champion Warriors (34-6, 20-2), the Falcons took 1-0 and 2-1 leads before watching El Camino scored three times in the sixth and seventh innings to record the win. After the Warriors Brooklyn Araujo doubled off relief pitcher Skyler Swearingen (Mayfair HS), a fielding error was followed by a double steal and Cerritos error to account for two more runs. Araujo also clubbed a two-run home run in the top of the seventh inning off sophomore pitcher Ally Udell (Whittier Christian HS).

Cerritos opened the game by scoring in the bottom of the first inning. A single and stolen base by freshman outfielder Haley Davis (Mayfair HS) set the table for sophomore shortstop Tena Spoolstra (Mayfair HS), who doubled her home with two outs. Spoolstra had a hand in the team taking a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning, as she successfully sacrificed freshman outfielder Itzel Soto (Long Beach Millikan HS) to second base after she led off with an infield single.

A base hit and by sophomore outfielder Victoria Medina (Whittier HS/Rio Hondo College) and throwing error put runners on second and third base with one out, with sophomore catcher Deja Sendejas (El Rancho HS) coming through with a base hit up the middle to drive in the run. The Falcons left runners on first and third base in the inning. Sendejas drove in the team's final run with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Photos by Daryl Peterson