Falcons power through with five home runs


Cerritos catcher Krystal Purkey connects for a grand slam in the first inning. She hit another home run in the fourth for a 16-6 Falcons victory. Photo credit: Monica Gallardo

Monica Gallardo, Opinion Editor

It was a home-run derby for the Cerritos Falcons softball team as it powered through a 16-6 win over Long Beach City College with five home runs, including two grand slams.

Things seemed hopeful for the Vikings as shortstop Brianna Alvarez led-off the game with a single and eventually scored on right fielder Vanessa Valdez’s sacrifice fly, quickly giving Long Beach the 1-0 advantage.

Cerritos answered back in the bottom of the first inning with four runs.

Center fielder Joanna Perruccio and shortstop Jenny Collazo earned a walk and advanced to second and third, respectively, due to a passed ball.

Third baseman Crystal Cano then got a walk of her own and with no outs and the bases loaded, catcher Krystal Purkey drove the ball over the center-field wall, handing the Falcons a 4-1 lead.

Perruccio led things off once again in the second inning with a walk and stole second before Collazo took a walk of her own. Cano then hit her seventh home run of the season, increasing the Falcons lead to 7-1.

The scoring continued as left fielder Jasmine Javier’s single scored pinch runner Roxanna Jensen.

With Javier, first baseman Petruccelli and pitcher Jennifer Navarro occupying the bases, pinch hitter Karissa Hamilton stepped up to the plate for second baseman Monique Ramirez.

With a quick swing of the bat, Hamilton sent the ball over the center field wall, providing the Falcons with another grand slam and a 12-1 lead.

Navarro’s home run in the third inning added to the power showcase of the Falcons, putting the score at 13-1.

The Falcons showed their mortality in the fourth inning when Vikings catcher Jenny Santiago hit a two-run homer, followed by a walk by Alvarez.

“Long Beach is a good team and they were fighting back,” head coach Kodee Murray said.

Navarro was then replaced at the mound by Ana Pedroza, who got the second out after throwing a wild pitch.

The third out did not come until the Vikings scored three more runs with the help of a throwing error by Collazo and a fielding error by Pedroza.

“We kept making little errors that created the next problem for us, but the team battled and stayed in there and fought. They came right back in the fourth inning and put those runs right back up on the board. I think they played really well today, they just ran into a little bit of trouble,” Murray said.

With the score at 13-6 in the bottom of the fourth inning, Cano gave the Falcons more insurance with a double, which allowed Collazo to safely cross the plate.

Purkey then came up with her second home run of the game and fifth of the season, securing the final score at 16-6 and improving the Falcons’ conference record to 8-1.

Navarro earned the win and is now 9-1 this season.