Falcons advance to next round

Rick Gomez

The Cerritos College softball team will advance to the second round of the postseason after concluding the sweep of the first round of the playoff series against Ventura on Sunday.

Cerritos defeated Ventura, 8-4, in game one on Saturday and 10-0 in game two on Sunday.
The Falcons will host either Grossmont or East Los Angeles in the Super Regional next weekend in the second round of the state playoffs. Game one will be held on Saturday and the series will continue on Sunday for games two and three, if necessary.
Pitching in her first college postseason, Hillary Perez-Ashley said she is not as nervous as much as she is excited about playing in the playoffs.
“We’ve been waiting to be here since August,” Perez-Ashley said.
Perez-Ashley threw complete games in the each game of the series totaling 12 innings including a shut-out in game two. 
Sunday’s performance marked Perez-Ashley’s eighth shut-out and 24th complete game of the season.
Aside from the pitching, the Falcons gave a stellar performance fielding and batting.
“I have to give it up to my defense,” said Perez-Ashley. “But both defense and offense are coming through each game.”
Cerritos tallied a total of four home runs and 18 runs in the series, eight of which were in the first inning of game two to start off the game. 
The early lead proved to be a clear advantage for Perez-Ashley.
“(The early lead) allows me to not be scared on the mound and go after batters,” Perez-Ashley said.
Although pitching seven innings in game one, head coach Kodee Murray started her in game two and left her in the game even after a lopsided lead of 10-0.
“(Perez-Ashley) needs to have innings. She hadn’t pitched in almost 10 days. It’s important she gets enough innings pitched,”  Murray said.
Ashley-Perez didn’t mind the work. “It’s not about my endurance, to me it’s about having strong pitches until the end of the game,” explained Perez-Ashley.
Cerritos faced Grossmont twice in the regular season and split the meetings with the Falcons winning the most recent match-up, 14-0, on April 4.

They also played East Los Angeles four times and went undefeated in the regular season.