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Cerritos High dominated in every aspect by league-leading Mayfair High

SUBURBAN LEAGUE SOFTBALL

By Loren Kopff

Before the 2013 softball season began, it was predicted by many that the Suburban League softball season was going to be a dogfight between Cerritos, La Mirada, Mayfair and even Norwalk. But injuries and other issues have curtailed those plans for the most part for three of those clubs.

The one that has managed to stay afloat and seems to be miles apart from everyone else is Mayfair and this past Wednesday, the Monsoons put a beating on Cerritos in a 10-0, six-inning win. Mayfair remained the league’s lone undefeated team at 7-0 while the Lady Dons slipped to 10-9 overall and 6-3 in the circuit.

“It was expected,” said Cerritos head coach Bob Medina. “Our shortstop is pitching. What do you expect to do? We know that the pitching is not going to be in our favor too much. Mel is doing a fantastic job with what she’s been doing and my hat’s off to her. She’s a trooper.”

Medina is referring to sophomore Melanie Okazaki, who has been summoned to do the bulk of the pitching after sophomore Jennifer Iseri went down with an injury on Mar. 12. Despite allowing four runs in the top of the first inning including a three-run home run to Ashlee Snyder, Okazaki kept her team in the game until the fourth inning. She got six batters to ground out, five going to senior shortstop Erin Clinton. But the Monsoons blew the game wide open with three runs in the fourth.

“Mel blew us away [earlier this season] because she’s always giggling and…I don’t care what you think,” Medina said. “She’s such a happy kid. She walks in and we said, ‘Mel, all we want is strikes’. Mel is starting to win. Mel is starting to be a competitor. She has exceeded what I thought she could do because she hasn’t pitched in so long.”

Mayfair’s hitting was only half the problem for the Lady Dons. The other half came in the form of pitcher Nyah Rodman, who surrendered three hits, walked two and struck out seven. Only two Cerritos runners reached second base and two more were caught stealing second.

In the bottom of the first, Rodman walked sophomore catcher Heather Cameron, who stole second before Rodman got sophomore first baseman Madison Lee to ground out to end the inning. Two innings later, Rodman walked sophomore left fielder Megan Darling, who would then get tagged out shy of second base on a stolen base attempt. Okazaki ended Rodman’s no-hit bid in the fourth but was retired on a double play and the game ended when junior center fielder Jasmine Javier, who had singled to center, was caught stealing as part of a double play.

“She throws very hard,” Medina said of Rodman. “She has good control this year. She deserves to be No. 1. If I’m going to look at a No. 1 pitcher this year, it’s going to be her. She has my vote.

“She pitches 62 miles an hour consistently,” he later added. “That is hard to beat, even in college. I wish her well. [The University of] Wisconsin is going to get a phenomenal player.”

Mayfair blistered Okazaki for 11 hits with three each coming from Jessica Torrez and Lexie Shue. Shue also drove in three and had a two-run home run in the sixth.

“They’re doing really well right now,” said Mayfair head coach Erin Brown. “They’re both really hot. Lexie had a heck of a day at the plate and Torrez has been consistent.”

The two teams will wrap up the season series today at Mayfair before Cerritos ends the regular season next week against Norwalk. Cerritos will also try to avoid its first sweep to Mayfair since 2010 and seventh in the past 12 seasons.

“Every day we’re preparing for the playoffs,” Medina said. “But we are not coming out here to give up any games at all. We are trying so hard to win this game. We really are.

“I think Mayfair is a great team,” Medina later continued. “I really do. If you were to say who is going to take league, my choice would be Mayfair.”