Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Castrellon makes a comeback

Martin Calderon
No. 16 Lauren Castrellon watching the opposing pitcher before her at-bat. Lauren is 12th in single season RBI for Cerritos College Softball.

Martin Calderon
No. 16 Lauren Castrellon watching the opposing pitcher before her at-bat. Lauren is 12th in single season RBI for Cerritos College Softball.

If you have been to a Cerritos College softball game this season, there is a good chance you have seen Lauren Castrellon in action, making defensive plays in center field and returning to her fellow Falcons after taking a leave of absence the past two years.

Castrellon, a liberal arts major, was born in Bellflower and raised in Downey.

Both of Castrellon’s parents were high school athletes, which is part of the reason she was always involved with sports at home or in different divisions throughout her life.

“My brother Adrian was my favorite athlete growing up. When we were younger my dad would practice with us and I would always be watching (Adrian) play,” she said.

Castrellon, who is often addressed as “Lo” by teammates, played basketball and softball for several seasons at Downey High School, before joining the Cerritos College softball team as a pitcher during the 2008-09 season.

The Rise and Fall

It was during that season that Castrellon was named First Team All-South Coast Conference and selected to be on the All State Tournament team.

Castrellon finished the season among the Falcons’ top-12 hitters, with a .436 batting average (12th), 16 homeruns (2nd), 51 RBI (5th), 18 stolen bases (8th) and 2nd in runs scored in a single season with 67 runs.

Despite Castrellon’s success in prevoius seasons, she started the 2009-10 season only to withdraw herself shortly after because of differences with coaches.

She would also miss the 2010-11 season due to an injury.

“I blew my arm out at tryouts and decided I was done, I didn’t want to care anymore,” she said.

After two incomplete seasons and some physical therapy, Castrellon felt the time was right to return to the team. She commented on why she decided to return.

“It basically came down to me wanting to do it instead of forcing myself to.”

Returning from Injury

During the 2011 fall semester, she spoke with Head Coach Kodee Murray about the possibilities of her making a return to the team.

Murray commented on Castrellon’s return and said, “When you take a year or two off you get a little older and a little more mature, she is still a quality ball player all the way through and were very fortunate to have her back.”

Castrellon is now the starting center fielder and wears No. 16 as an homage to her dad. She discussed the meaning behind choosing the number, saying, “It’s more of a personal thing for him to see his baby wearing the number I grew up in. I did it to make him happy.”

She describes her current relationship with the coaching staff, saying, “You can pull them aside and talk to them whenever you want and they’ll have a good understanding of whatever it is you need to talk about”

Assistant Coach Nicole Deel worked with Castrellon in her freshman season, as well as this season.

Deel spoke about her contribution to the team and said, “Lo (Castrellon) brings experience. She’s a good leader who leads a lot by example”.

She goes on to say, “She’s a great athlete who can run, hit, throw and play defense. She’s pretty much the package deal”.

Team Leader and Role Model

Castrellon is a prominent member of the team, whom is very vocal in the huddles as well as on the field.

Fellow outfielder Courtney Priddie mentions some of the things they talk about in the outfield saying, “We joke around but a lot of the time she is positioning me and telling me where to stand”.

She added, “Having Lauren out there is like having a coach out there”.

Playing leftfield, is sociology major Maiya Tallakson who described Castrellon’s leadership skills.

“She talks with us and makes sure we know what were doing, and stays on us,” she said.

Tallakson also mentioned Castrellon’s focus on the game and said, “She’ll (Castrellon) remember how the batters hit the last time and makes sure were in the right position”.

Castrellon expressed her feelings toward the sport.

“It is a hobby that I am passionate about and really love,” she said.

She added, “I want to take advantage of playing it while I’m still young and in my prime.”

Castrellon is currently studying to be an administrator and plans on transferring to Cal State Fullerton.

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Martin Calderon, Staff Writer
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Castrellon makes a comeback