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PRESS ROW League titles, playoff spots on the line as stretch run begins

By Loren Kopff

Three weeks remain in the regular season for the spring sports and two area baseball teams are in contention for league titles while as many as four area softball squads could call themselves league champions.

In baseball action, the race for the Suburban League title is going to be a wild one as John Glenn and La Mirada began the week at 5-1 while Bellflower is 5-2 after defeating Mayfair (4-1 in league) this past Tuesday. Glenn had lost two straight games in the St. Paul Easter Tournament entering this past Wednesday’s meeting with Santa Maria-based St. Joseph. The Eagles are enjoying one of their finest seasons ever at 14-5 and will play Long Beach Wilson on Saturday in a Redondo Tournament game before hosting Cerritos on Wednesday.

Glenn has not finished above fourth place in 18 seasons and has advanced to the California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section playoffs three times since 1998, the last two coming in 2008 and 2009. The Eagles will finish the regular season with home and home series against Bellflower and Mayfair.

Artesia has won four of its last six games after splitting four games in the St. Paul Easter Tournament. This past Monday, the Pioneers (7-14 overall) lost to Bishop Montgomery 11-3 but rebounded for an 8-3 win over Southlands Christian this past Tuesday on a complete game from junior Javier Vazquez. The Pioneers then held on for a 7-6 win the next day against Mission Prep as freshman David Licea picked up his first win. Vazquez went two for four, drove in five and cracked a two-run first inning home run.

The Pioneers are 3-5 in league as they visit Mayfair on Wednesday and can still get into the playoffs by sweeping Mayfair and Bellflower the following week, plus get a lot of help.

Cerritos fell to 8-13 overall after losing to Southlands Christian 8-2 this past Wednesday in the St. Paul Easter Tournament. The Dons, who dropped three of four games in the tournament, are also mathematically alive for a playoff spot and needs to win at least five of their final six games and get some help. After Cerritos wraps up its home and home series with Glenn, it will face Norwalk and La Mirada.

After winning 11 of its first 13 games, Gahr all of a sudden is in a slump. The Gladiators have not won since Apr. 8 and recently dropped a 3-2 decision to Paramount this past Tuesday. Gahr (11-7-1, 1-2 in the San Gabriel Valley League) will face Bonita on Saturday in a Redondo Tournament game, then host Downey on Tuesday in a crucial league tilt.

Norwalk had lost its first three games of the St. Paul Easter Tournament before this past Wednesday’s contest against Long Beach Cabrillo and was on an 11-game losing streak. The Lancers will visit La Mirada on Wednesday and is the only Suburban League team eliminated from playoff contention.

Valley Christian dropped a 4-1 decision to Village Christian this past Tuesday to fall to 6-9 overall and 1-6 in the Olympic League. The two teams faced each other on Apr. 24 and Valley Christian will travel to Heritage Christian on Tuesday hoping to get back in playoff contention.

SOFTBALL

Just like baseball, the Suburban League will see its league championship come down to possibly the last game of the season. While La Mirada remains on top with a 6-0 league mark, Cerritos and Mayfair are on nipping on the heels with one loss each. Cerritos lost to El Segundo 7-4 in eight innings last Saturday in the championship game of the Whittier Christian Tournament and will begin its road game at Glenn on Wednesday at 14-3 overall, 5-1 in league.

Norwalk (7-10, 6-2) has won six straight games but still has La Mirada and Cerritos, plus a non league game at Valley Christian on the docket. The Lady Lancers have wrapped up at least fourth place and a playoff spot.

Valley Christian improved to 3-0 in the Olympic League and won its fourth game of the season after crushing Heritage Christian 13-6 this past Tuesday. The Lady Crusaders put the game away with seven runs in the bottom of the first inning. Freshman first baseman Brianna Lerma and freshman left fielder Kaylee Westra each went three for four as the Lady Crusaders have pounded out 29 hits in the past two games. V.C. visited Whittier Christian on Apr. 24 in a battle for first place and will travel to Maranatha on Thursday.

Whitney remains in the hunt for a playoff berth and even an Academy League title. The Lady Wildcats are 3-5 overall, 1-2 in league and will host Oxford Academy on Tuesday.

FUNDRAISING

The Gahr softball varsity team will be having a Flapjack fundraiser on May 4 from 8:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. at the Applebee’s in Norwalk at 12129 Imperial Highway. Half a dozen Gahr softball players will actually serve breakfast for the two hours. Tickets, which are $10, are still available with half of the proceeds going to the team. For more information, please call Stephanie at (562) 215-2156.

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