Jenny Collazo’s RBI double gives Falcons first win of season

Monica Gallardo, Opinion Editor

Freshman shortstop Jenny Collazo’s RBI double to right field gave the Cerritos Falcons the 2-1 win on their season opener at Nancy Kelly Field.

Collazo ended the game with two doubles and a strikeout, while winning pitcher Ana Pedroza held the Glendale Vaqueros to two hits, one run, one walk and a strikeout.

Assistant coach Jenel Guadagno said, “It’s always great to have a comeback win, especially on your home field, so starting off the season with a win is great. We’re excited, all the girls are getting better. It really sets us on a high note, but we could only get better.”

The Falcons scored the first run of the game in the third inning after Collazo’s double brought in outfielder Joanna Perruccio, but Collazo was soon tagged out at second base.

Risky baserunning didn’t stop the Falcons after loading the bases in the fourth inning, but left the runners stranded after a flyout to left field by outfielder Jasmine Javier and infield pop-ups by first baseman Haley Petruccelli and Perruccio.

The Vaqueros first hit of the game came in the fifth inning after a grounder up the middle went past diving shortstop Collazo, but Pedroza retired the third out without giving up any runs.

Hitting woes continued for the Falcons during the fifth inning. Collazo led off with a walk and stole second after an infield flyout by designated hitter Crystal Cano.

Catcher Krystal Purkey’s groundout advanced Collazo to third, but Javier’s sharp grounder was caught by Glendale’s pitcher, making the quick third out.

Outfielder Roxanna Jensen said, “There were six runners left on base. I think we were a little nervous, it was our first game and we’re going to get better. It shows that we have a lot to work on, but that’s good because now we know what to practice.”

In the sixth inning the Vaqueros gained two baserunners after the Falcons failed to turn a double-play.

With just one more out needed to end the inning, Cerritos let a soft infield blooper go, letting Glendale load the bases.

Pedroza then walked in a run, leaving the game tied at one.

“I think we all eliminated that run and just focused on getting the outs, getting out of the inning and just starting fresh,” Perruccio said.

Cerritos then led off the bottom of the sixth inning with a strikeout by Petruccelli.

Second baseman and outfielder Monique Ramirez was then hit by a pitch and given first base.

She was later tagged out at first after third baseman Jennifer Navarro’s line drive was caught at third and turned into a double play, leaving the score at one apiece.

Outfielder Cheyann Samuelson gave the Falcons more hope in the seventh inning when she earned a lead-off walk and stole second base.

With one out, Collazo drove the ball over Glendale’s right fielder, giving the Falcons the walk-off win.

Guadagno said, “Getting our hitters to settle down at the plate was definitely the biggest challenge. You could tell they were really nervous, kind of choking up a bit instead of settling in, taking a deep breath and relaxing, getting the job done. They were trying to do too much.”