Falcons hold onto another close win against Santa Ana College

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Outfielder Joanna Perruccio scores the first run of the game for the Falcons after avoiding the tag by Dons catcher Annie Dowling. The Falcons won by a narrow score of 3-2. Photo credit: Monica Gallardo

Monica Gallardo, Opinion Editor

Another dramatic late-inning 3-2 win over Santa Ana College has the Cerritos Falcons softball team at 2-0 early in the season.

Pitcher Jennifer Navarro earned the win with six strikeouts, while reliever Ana Pedroza earned the save, leaving all three Santa Ana Dons on the bases to end the game.

“We stayed up all seven innings. Our pitchers did a good job and we came through. I think it shows that we are a great team, we have a lot of talent and we’re excited,” third baseman Crystal Cano said.

Santa Ana was first to get on the board, taking advantage of Cano’s error and gaining the 1-0 lead.

The Falcons retaliation of three runs in the third inning proved to be enough for the win.

Outfielder Cheyann Samuelson led-off the inning with a single to third base, but was later caught stealing second, causing an outcry from the fans and Falcons’ first base coach.

Outfielder Joanna Perruccio was then hit by a pitch and safely stole second, followed by a walk from shortstop Jenny Collazo.

With two outs after Cano struck out swinging, catcher Krystal Purkey tied the game at one with a single to center, bringing home Perruccio.

Purkey was promptly taken out of the game after a base-running injury and replaced with pinch-runner Evelyn Labatos.

“Everyone was kind of panicking in the dugout but she’s a tough kid, I knew she was going to come right back. We didn’t really know what happened because we were watching the play at the plate but she was able to tough it out and come back and that’s what we expect of her,” Assistant Coach Jenel Guadagno said.

Injuries did not stop the Falcons as outfielder Jasmine Javier pulled a single up-the-middle past a diving shortstop and loaded the bases with two outs.

Cerritos then took a 2-1 lead after second baseman Monique Ramirez earned a walk, bringing in Collazo and giving the Falcons another bases loaded opportunity.

Not only did Navarro show power on the mound, but at the plate as well as her sharp grounder got past the glove of the Dons shortstop, increasing the Falcons lead to three.

The inning came to an end after first baseman Haley Petruccelli flew out to center field.

Santa Ana nearly caught up in the sixth inning after consecutive singles put runners on first and second with no outs.

Pedroza then replaced Navarro in relief and walked the first batter she faced, leaving the bases loaded with zero outs.

Pedroza quickly settled down as she turned the double play from home plate to first and converted the third out with a soft single, preserving the 3-1 lead.

The Dons once again gave the Falcons a challenge in the seventh inning. The lead-off hitter hit a line drive just over the glove of second baseman Ramirez.

Cerritos then failed to turn a double-play due to a throwing error, leaving Santa Ana runners at first and second base with no outs.

Guadagno said, “We needed to keep our focus a little bit longer. We let [Santa Ana] come back in when we shouldn’t have.”

A grounder to center then pulled the Dons within one run of the Falcons and still no outs with runners on first and second base.

Pedroza managed to get two consecutive outs at third base and retired the last batter of the game with an infield foul pop-up.

Petruccelli said, “We picked each other up, we always fought through the whole game which showed a lot because it’s only our second game and the freshmen did really good by staying together. We could’ve had more runs, we left a lot of runners on base, but overall it was a hard fought game.”