Softball ranked No. 2

Rick Gomez

It was a just a young freshman team in August and now it is one of the top ranked softball teams in the state.

The Cerritos College softball team will enter the postseason as the No. 2 ranked team in the South as they host No. 15 Ventura in the first round of the playoffs on Saturday at 2 p.m.

The best of three series will run from Saturday through Sunday with a double-header if necessary.

The Falcons played Ventura earlier this season and handed Ventura an 11-7 loss.

Head coach Kodee Murray believes this match-up differs than the match-up earlier in the season.

“We’re not the same team, Ventura is not the same team,” Murray said. “Ventura is a well coached program.”

The Falcons entered the season with a roster consisting of 15 players.

Of the 15, 12 were incoming freshman.

Murray said they had a lot of lessons learned throughout the season.

“Of the nine losses, we thought we can just show up, but we learned we have to show up and be accountable for what we do on the field,” Murray said.

Among the nine losses were close defeats as they dropped eight of their nine losses by three runs or less.

“I have no concerns,” Murray said, “we can’t worry about the what-ifs in the playoffs.”

Cerritos finished the season with an overall record of 34-9-1 a conference record of 17-1.

The Falcons closed the season with a ten-game winning streak and won 13 of the last 15 after losing three in a row.

Murray will have the luxury of placing a starting line-up consisting of All-SCC players.

Recently, ten players from the Cerritos were awarded South Coast Conference honors including 6 first team All-SCC selections.

In addition, Pitcher Hillary Perez-Ashley won the pitcher of the year award and was named to the first team All-SCC.

Perez-Ashley, along with catcher Samantha Vaaulu and second baseman Lindsey Marquez were also added to the All-State ballot for voting.

Perez-Ashley recorded a 14-1 conference record with an unprecedented 1.27 ERA in 88 innings.

Perez-Ashley also pitched 11 complete games.

Vaaulu set school’s single season record with 15 homeruns while hitting .463 with a 944. slugging percentage.