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PRESS ROW: League titles claimed, up for grabs in final week of spring season

By Loren Kopff

Several area baseball and softball teams played for a league title this past Tuesday and many of them either clinched no worse than a championship or had their final regular season games on May 15 decide everything. With the playoffs beginning as early as Monday, at least four softball teams had already clinched playoff berths entering this week while two baseball teams were automatically in.

On the baseball diamond, the Suburban League is witnessing one of its tightest races in recent memory. John Glenn fell to Mayfair 4-0 this past Tuesday while La Mirada eased past Cerritos 8-1 and Bellflower did the same to Artesia in a 10-1 conquest. Entering the action on May 15, La Mirada had a 9-2 league mark followed by Bellflower, Glenn and Mayfair, all sitting at 8-3. All four of those teams will represent the league in the playoffs, which kicks off with wild card action possibly for Gahr on Wednesday  and Glenn (18-9 overall) on Tuesday. First round play begins on Thursday for Glenn and Friday for Gahr.

Gahr, which was swept by Loyola 2-0 and 4-0 in a doubleheader last Saturday, blanked Lynwood 5-0 this past Tuesday. The Gladiators (18-10-1 overall, 6-3 in the San Gabriel Valley League) hosted Lynwood on May 15 and will finish no worse than a tie for second place.

Valley Christian shut out Norwalk 6-0 this past Tuesday in a non-league tilt. The Crusaders (10-11 overall, 4-8 in the Olympic League) swept Whittier Christian in last week’s home and home series and won their final three league games. Should Whittier Christian be swept by second place Maranatha, the Crusaders would clinch third place and an automatic playoff berth. If not, then V.C. can apply for an at-large bid with a win at Norwalk on May 15.

SOFTBALL

Cerritos roughed up La Mirada starter Valerie Alvarado for five runs in the top of the first inning this past Tuesday and routed the host Matadores 9-1. Senior pitcher Jennifer Iseri belted a pair of home runs as the Lady Dons (19-3, 10-1) clinched at least a share of the league crown for the first time since 2011. A May 15 win over La Mirada gives Cerritos its first outright title since 2000. If not, there’s a great chance for a three-way tie with Mayfair also joining the party. The Monsoons played fifth place John Glenn this past week.

Gahr got a combined perfect game from junior Deidra Genera and freshman Naomi Dickerson as the Gladiators blanked Dominguez 18-0 this past Wednesday. Genera struck out seven batters out of the nine she faced while Dickerson added five more strikeouts out of the six she saw. Both combined to throw 55 pitches.

Offensively, Gahr (16-9, 9-1) was paced by freshman catcher Alyssa Kumiyama, who went three for four and hit her ninth home run, freshman third baseman Malia Quarles, who drove in four runs and junior first baseman Celeste Gonzalez, who was two for two and hit a grand slam. Gahr hosted Lynwood on May 15 and can do no worse than a share of the SGVL title.

Valley Christian had won seven straight games, all in Olympic League action, but was edged by Whittier Christian 5-4 in 10 innings this past Tuesday, costing the Lady Crusaders the outright league championship. Whittier Christian tied the game with two runs in the top of the sixth. V.C. (8-14, 7-1) hosted Norwalk on May 15 and can still win the title by itself should Whittier Christian lose to third place Maranatha on that same day.

Whitney visited Oxford Academy on May 15 and needed a win to clinch a tie for second place with the Patriots. Whitney is 6-6 overall and 4-3 in the Academy League.

BOYS VOLLEYBALL

Cerritos, which finished in second place in the Suburban League, was swept by La Salle 25-11, 25-17, 25-8 in a California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section Division IV first round match this past Tuesday night. The Dons concluded their season at 14-9.

Also in the division, Whitney (11-8) was knocked out by second-seeded Bishop Montgomery 25-12, 25-12, 25-13.

Gahr survived a Division III first round thriller with West Valley this past Tuesday night. The seventh-ranked Gladiators defeated the second place representative from the Sunbelt League 25-17, 16-25, 25-19, 23-25, 17-15. Gahr (23-5), which took second in the San Gabriel Valley League, visited Camarillo on May 15. Also in Division III action, Valley Christian was swept by Rio Mesa 25-23, 25-21, 25-15 this past Tuesday night. The Crusaders, who finished in third place in the Olympic League, end their season at 10-12.

BOYS TENNIS

Suburban League champion Cerritos hosted Malibu this past Wednesday in a Division III first round match. A win would put the Dons (12-3) up against either No. 1 Valencia at home or at Millikan today.

 

 

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