Softball ranked in CAL JC Top 20 Poll

Rick Gomez

With only three returnees and a squad full of freshmen, the Cerritos College softball team seems to be not be fazed as they top the rankings on the latest CAL JC Top 20 Poll.

Head coach Kodee Murray, on the other hand, is not fazed by the early poll ranking.

“It’s nice, but it doesn’t accomplish anything,” Murray said.

The young Falcon team continues the success left by last year’s state championship team.

“We have a lot of talent. When you add the great coach ability of this team to the equation, it creates a big outcome,” Murray said.

The Falcons are sporting a record of 19-4-1 and 6-0 in conference play. They are currently in first place in the SCC.

“(The team) has played well in tough situations,” Murray said about its team mid-way through the season.

With a state title to defend, freshman catcher Samantha Vaaulu admits the effects it has taken on the first-year players like her this year.

“We do have some pressure defending a state title,” Vaaulu said.

Since losing two in a row back in early February, the Falcons have won 14 of 16 and are currently riding a five-game winning streak.

The Falcons are averaging almost nine runs a game when they win and also outscoring opponents by seven runs a game when they come out victorious.

Much of that offensive success has come from the efforts of freshmen catcher Samantha Vaaulu and second baseman Lindsey Marquez.

Vaaulu and Marquez are both hitting .476 while pitcher Lauren Castrellon is not far behind batting .473 for the season.

Vaaulu leads the conference with 10 home-runs and Castrellon is tied for second with five.

The Falcons pitching has been led by freshman pitcher Hillary Perez-Ashley.

Perez-Ashley dons the best record in the SCC of 12-2 and is second in the conference with an ERA of 1.68.