Softball: Magical state championship run ends in third place finish

Falcons finished their season in third place at the 3C2A State Championships
Falcons finished their season in third place at the 3C2A State Championships

Entering the day just two wins away from their third 3C2A State Championship in school history, the Cerritos College softball team faced the #1-ranked team in the state in the championship semifinals on Saturday. Taking on Palomar College, the Falcons jumped out to a 3-1 lead, but ended up dropping a 5-3 decision. Their season came to an end later that day when Cypress College handed Cerritos a 5-1 defeat. The Falcons (33-16) concluded their season in third place at the state championships.

Cerritos vs. Palomar (Championship Semifinals): Looking for a berth in the state championship game, the Falcons jumped out early against the Comets, as freshman outfielder Jazmine Macias (La Mirada HS) clubbed a two-run home run in the top of the first inning. Sophomore second baseman Alyssa Sotelo (El Rancho HS) led off the game by reaching base on an error and came home on the round-tripper by Macias. Palomar cut the lead in half, as they took advantage of a Cerritos error in the second inning. But Macias hit her second home run of the game in the top of the third inning to regain a two-run lead. 

Sophomore pitcher Samantha Islas (Roosevelt HS) had been able to work out of dangerous situations in each of the first four innings, as she limited Palomar to just one run. But in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Comets, who came into the game with a .396 team batting average took advantage of a two-out walk and hit batter to score three times. Three straight singles led to runs for Palomar, who also added a insurance run in the sixth inning.

As a team, Cerritos was held without a hit after sophomore shortstop Miranda Diaz (California HS) and freshman outfielder Marley Manalo (Walnut HS) led off the fourth inning with consecutive singles. Both were advanced after a sacrifice bunt from sophomore designated player Maddy Guillen (La Puente HS), but were stranded.

Cerritos vs. Cypress (Elimination Semifinals): Faced with their first must-win situation of the state championships, the Falcons found themselves trailing, 4-0 after the first three innings. Cerritos did get one of those runs back in the top of the fourth inning when sophomore third baseman Brooklyn Bedolla (Mayfair HS) tripled with two outs and scored on a base hit by Diaz. The Falcons, who were looking for their first win over the Chargers since April 5, 2014, were limited to one hit and just three baserunners the remainder of the game.