Talon Marks

Falcons take first game against tenth seed Citrus

Outfielder+Ashley+Melendez+is+safe+sliding+into+third+base+during+Game+One+of+the+Falcons+three-game+series+with+Citrus+College.+Cerritos+capitalized+on+five+Citrus+errors+that+lead+to+seven+unearned+runs+by+the+Falcons.+Photo+credit%3A+Monique+Nethington
Outfielder Ashley Melendez is safe sliding into third base during Game One of the Falcons three-game series with Citrus College. Cerritos capitalized on five Citrus errors that lead to seven unearned runs by the Falcons. Photo credit: Monique Nethington

Outfielder Ashley Melendez is safe sliding into third base during Game One of the Falcons three-game series with Citrus College. Cerritos capitalized on five Citrus errors that lead to seven unearned runs by the Falcons. Photo credit: Monique Nethington

Outfielder Ashley Melendez is safe sliding into third base during Game One of the Falcons three-game series with Citrus College. Cerritos capitalized on five Citrus errors that lead to seven unearned runs by the Falcons. Photo credit: Monique Nethington

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The Cerritos softball team cultivated 14 runs off 14 hits in the teams 14-4 postseason victory over 10th seeded Citrus College on Friday, May 5.

The team was led by catcher Briana Lopez and third basemen Rain Vega who both went 3-for-4 on the day, had two RBIs and combined to score six of the Falcons’ runs.

In the circle for the Falcons was starting pitcher Kristen Voller who pitched all five innings allowing only five hits and two earned runs for her 14th victory of the season.

Vega described Voller’s outing as wonderful and Lopez’s game as a product of the hard work she has put in.

“Lopez has always had it,” Vega said. “She had it every single at-bat this game, and I’m really proud of her and the hard work she’s put in.”

Cerritos set the pace in the first inning retiring Citrus’ batters in order in the top of the inning. In the bottom all nine Falcons in the lineup recorded an at-bat and the team scored four runs off four hits.

In the second the Owl’s were allowed only one hit while the Falcons went through their entire lineup for the second inning in a row and had four hits and four runs.

Head coach Kodee Murray said, “Our hitters set up a cushion so Voller could just pitch, when your offense is hitting the ball and getting runs it makes it easier for the pitching.”

Citrus scored its first two runs in the top of the third due to a RBI double and a fielding error by the Falcons.

Cerritos would respond quickly scoring three runs of its own in the bottom of the third giving the team a 11-2 lead going into the fourth inning.

The Owls went on in the fourth adding two runs with a home run and a RBI single to bring the score to 11-4 before heading to the bottom of the inning.

A RBI double by Lopez and two RBI singles by shortstop Kylee Brown and designated player Carly Gutierrez in the fourth pushed the Falcons lead to 14-4 heading into what would be the final inning of play.

Murray said, “Lopez stopped being a freshman after about the third Long Beach game, she’s unstoppable, she’s confident at the plate. She hits the ball hard and with power, you almost have to walk her for her to not get a hit.”

In the top of the fifth Voller retired the Citrus batters in order, putting the mercy rule into effect and closing the game out early.

Murray credited Voller with her performance against a potent Citrus offense that hit 39 home runs and 353 runs throughout the season.

“I think Voller threw an outstanding game against a really tough offensive team,” Murray said, “Citrus can hit the ball and Voller was absolutely unbelievable.”

With the victory the Falcons take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three game series with the Owls, and will play Game Two at Nancy Kelly Field Saturday, May 6.

Murray said, “The most important game in a three-game series is Game Two, we’re happy to be able to walk in with an opportunity to close it down in two games but this second game will be very very difficult.”

Vega concluded, “If we come out and do what we did today, score every inning and have everyone stay in the game it will just be another game.”

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Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.
Falcons take first game against tenth seed Citrus