Softball: Win propels Cerritos to championship semifinals

Falcons wait to congratulate Richere Leduc after her three-run home run
Falcons wait to congratulate Richere Leduc after her three-run home run

Continuing to make the most of their first appearance in the 3C2A State Championships since 2009, the Cerritos College softball team defeated South Coast Conference rival Mt. San Antonio College, 8-2 on Friday to advance to the championship semifinal. The Falcons, (33-13), who are the #4-seeded team from Southern California, have already defeated the #1-seed from Northern California, Sierra College (8-6) and now the #2-seeded team from Southern California, the host Mounties. Cerritos will take on Palomar College at noon on Saturday at Mt. San Antonio College. The Comets handed the Falcons a 4-2 setback back on February 3.

This was the first win for the Falcons over the Mounties (40-6) in their last five meetings.

Cerritos got on the board in the top of the first inning when sophomore second baseman Alyssa Sotelo (El Rancho HS) singled and stole second base. With two outs, freshman catcher Jimena Velazquez (Fullerton HS) reached base on a throwing error by Mounties shortstop Katelyn Olson, which allowed Sotelo to score.

The scored was tied at 2-2 after both teams scored single runs in the fifth inning. But the Falcons would not only chase starting pitcher Mirannda Rodriguez in the sixth inning, they also knocked around relief pitcher Aleyna Urbina (20-3), who took the loss. In the sixth inning, sophomore Jazmine Macias (La Mirada HS) led off with a double and came home on a double by sophomore first baseman Richere Leduc (California HS). With one out, sophomore third baseman Brooklyn Bedolla (Mayfair HS) sent a screaming liner that tailed away from Mt. SAC left fielder Desiree Bravo and deflected off her glove and ruled a two-base error. It allowed Leduc to advance to third base, while both baserunners scored on a double by sophomore shortstop Miranda Diaz (California HS).

Richere Leduc runs around the bases after her three-run home run Just as she did against Sierra College the day before, sophomore starting pitcher Samantha Islas (Roosevelt HS) recorded the big outs before allowing any serious damage to be done. She retired nine of the first 11 batters she faced until allowing a solo home run in the fourth inning and after hitting a batter with the bases loaded to bring in the second run of the game for the Mounties. Islas then got out of the inning with the Mounties leaving the bases loaded. In the fourth inning, the Mounties could not score any more runs after the leadoff home run and left with three runners on base, as Islas (22-7) got pinch-hitter Alyssa Ruvalcava to fly out for the third out.

The Falcons put the game out of reach with another three-run inning. After Sotelo and Macias each singled, Leduc (pictured, left) launched her fourth home run of the season to make it an 8-2 advantage.

Sotelo (3-for-4, two runs), Macias (2-for-4, two runs) and Leduc (2-for-4, two runs, four RBI) led the 10-hit win for the Falcons.

Photos by Daryl Peterson