Softball: Marley Manalo drives in seven runs in a pair of wins over LA Mission

Marley Manalo celebrates the first of her two home runs in a DH against LA Mission
Marley Manalo celebrates the first of her two home runs in a DH against LA Mission

Sophomore shortstop Marley Manalo (Walnut HS) went 4-for-7 with two home runs and seven RBI to help lead the Cerritos College softball team to a pair of wins over Los Angeles Mission College at Nancy Kelly Field on Saturday. The Falcons (24-9) recorded a 7-3 win in the first game and then scored twice in the bottom of the seventh inning to pull out a 7-6 victory in the second game. The top eight seeded teams will host a first round Southern California Regional Playoff series, with Cerritos currently sitting in ninth. The Falcons will resume South Coast Conference play on Monday at 3:00 p.m. when they travel to East Los Angeles College.

Game 1 - LA Mission (20-11) jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning against sophomore pitcher Reanna Carranza (El Rancho HS). The first four batters reached base, with the final out of the inning coming at the plate when sophomore centerfielder Jocelyn Doan (Walnut HS) threw out Jasmine Villegas at the plate trying to score on a Deja Rubio RBI single. The defensive play seemed to have sparked the Falcons, who responded with three runs of their own in the bottom of the stanza. Sophomore outfielder Jazmine Macias (La Mirada HS) led off with a walk and stole second base before a single by sophomore third baseman Natalie Basurto (Walnut HS) put runners at second and third base. Manalo got the team on the board with a sacrifice fly, while sophomore first baseman Nadia Landeros (Warren HS/Rio Hondo College) kept the inning going with an infield hit. With two outs, sophomore designated player Celeste Carbajal (Mayfair HS) tied the game with a two-run single.

Carranza did not allow the Eagles to score the rest of the game and scattered four hits while walking one batter. She came up with clutch outs in four of the last six innings, as LA Mission left runners in scoring position in each of those innings.

Cerritos scored what would be the game-winning run in the bottom of the second inning when Doan was hit by a pitch, stole second base and scored on a double by Basurto. Macias came up with an RBI double in the sixth inning, which drove in freshman outfielder Morgan Fontela (Long Beach Millikan HS), with Manalo adding a two-run home run to give the team some extra cushion.

Landeros remained hot at the plate by going 3-for-4, while Macias, Basurto and Fontela each added a pair of hits. Manalo drove in three runs, while Macias also scored twice.

Game 2 - Just like in the first game, LA Mission put three runs on the board against Carranza in the first inning to take an early lead. In fact, aside from the first inning in both games, Carranza allowed just three runs over the course of the two games. Trailing, 5-3 heading into the top of the seventh inning, the Eagles were able to score three times to take a 6-5 advantage. A leadoff walk was followed by a single, an RBI double and then a two-run single. However, Carranza was able to prevent them from extending their lead by getting the next three batters out without the ball leaving the infield.

Needing a run in the bottom of the seventh inning to extend the game, the Falcons were able to do more than that. Doan led off the inning with a walk, while a double by Macias that dropped inside the left field line put runners at second and third with no outs. Basurto loaded the bases with a walk before Manalo won the game with a single into short center field.

On the final play of the game, Macias came around third to try and score and was looked to be out by five feet on a throw by Eagles outfielder Rubio. However, catcher Jasmine Villegas dropped the ball and Macias was able to get around her and score the game-winning run.

Earlier in the game, Carbajal came up with another clutch two-run single that started the team's comeback after falling behind early. Macias, who went 3-for-4, drove in the third run of the second inning to tie the game. After Manalo put the team in front, 4-3 with her second home run of the day, she put the team up, 5-3 with an RBI double in the fifth inning that plated Basurto, who walked. On the walk, Villegas fumbled with the ball, with Macias taking off for third base. She was thrown out, which was the first time she was caught trying to steal a base this season after 38 successful attempts.

Manalo finished 3-for-4 with four RBI in the game, while Carbajal drove in a pair of runs. Carranza was critical in the Falcons winning both games, as she tossed two complete games, which included throwing 195 total pitches and has now recorded 30 complete games. It marks just the sixth time in school history a pitcher has accomplished that feat.

Photos by Daryl Peterson