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Area softball players make it official with their signings

Softball

Norwalk High’s Jazmin Guzman is flanked by Jennifer Iseri (left) and Heather Cameron of Cerritos High as all three softball standouts signed their letters of intent to play in college last Saturday afternoon. Cameron and Iseri will be playing at the University of Hawai’i while Guzman and will attend California State University, Dominguez Hills.

 

By Loren Kopff

Five area softball players put their signatures on the coveted NCAA paperwork, making it official for them to pursue their dreams of being a collegiate athlete for the next four years. Heather Cameron and Jennifer Iseri of Cerritos High and Jazmin Guzman of Norwalk High signed their letters of intent at Fullerton College last Saturday afternoon while Emily Morrow and Madison Wright of Valley Christian High signed their letters of intent last Wednesday at the high school.

Iseri, who will be attending the University of Hawai’i, has been a three-year varsity player for the Lady Dons and one of the top pitchers in the area, as well as in school history. As a freshman, Iseri went 12-4 in the circle with an earned run average of 1.58 while striking out 132 batters in over 106 innings of work. Offensively, Iseri batted .467, which was second on the team, and was tied for the team lead with 25 hits and seven doubles.

The next season, Iseri missed most of the season due to an injury and was limited to just over 30 innings of work. Still, she went 3-2 and posted an ERA of 0.91, striking out 35 and yielding 16 hits. Last season, Iseri led Cerritos with a .526 average and pounded out 41 hits, 15 doubles and six home runs as she helped her team win a Suburban League title. Iseri was also 15-4 with a 1.76 ERA and fanned 189 batters in nearly 118 innings. Iseri was the Los Cerritos Community News Pitcher of the Year as a freshman and again last season.

“It was actually kind of a crazy experience,” Iseri said of signing the letter of intent. “I know a lot of people think of it as, ‘oh, she already knew she was going [to Hawai’i]’. But it was a big deal to me. It was just eye opening because I know that since I was seven, since I started down in little [Cerritos Girls Softball Association], I would have never thought I would be the person and the player I am today. I can’t express how thankful I am because I know personally I’ve put in a lot of hard work and a lot of time and effort.”

Iseri said she knew she wanted to play collegiate softball when she made the transition from recreational ball to travel ball. While her decision to go to Hawai’i was never in doubt long before entering high school, California State University, Northridge and Long Beach State University were two blips on her radar. She knew that she wasn’t set on going far away to the Midwest or even the east coast. But her dreams of playing on the college scene became interesting once she began playing for the Artesia Punishers travel ball team.

“Being surrounded by collegiate athletes and hearing their stories made me open my eyes and say, ‘hey, that’s a great goal’,” Iseri said.

Cameron, who has been Iseri’s longtime best friend, tag-team partner and battery mate, will also be playing on the islands for the Wahine, coached by Bob Coolen.

Like Iseri, Cameron has also been a three-year varsity starter for Cerritos and has been rock solid behind the plate. Offensively, Cameron batted .289 as a freshman and improved greatly the next season when she led the team with a .381 average, 24 hits, 21 runs, 15 runs batted in, five doubles and 17 walks. Those numbers landed her a spot on the LCCN All-Area first team.

Last season, Cameron batted .377, fourth best on the team, had 23 hits and smacked nine doubles. Cameron was a second team LCCN All-Area member last season and also made the team as a freshman.

“It means everything to me,” Cameron said of signing her letter of intent. “I’ve been working my whole life just for this moment. I’ve been playing since I was seven and I’ve been striving to get better and better every year. It means so much because I’ve wanted to go to [college] since I was in seventh grade. I was e-mailing them all the time. I want to major in marine biology and that school is so good with that program. I’m just so blessed to have everyone around me who pushed me to be here today.”

Cameron, who also wanted to give credit to one of her coaches, Marian Mendoza, also looked at the University of California, Santa Barbara, University of San Diego and Long Beach State University.

Guzman becomes the second straight Norwalk softball player to sign a letter of intent to play at an NCAA institution. Last season it was Samantha Lujan (UCSB) and now, Guzman will be playing at California State University, Dominguez Hills.

“I would say it’s an accomplishment because I’ve been playing since I was three and I came out of a league that wasn’t so big,” Guzman said. “It feels good to know that I came out of somewhere small and to get a scholarship. It’s a good feeling.”

Guzman has been on Norwalk’s varsity team the past seasons and was a LCCN All-Area first teamer her freshman and sophomore season as a second baseman before being on the honorable mention team as a shortstop last season.

Guzman led the Lady Lancers with a .512 average, 44 hits and 11 stolen bases as a freshman as well as leading the team with a .962 fielding percentage. The next season, Guzman batted .425 and led Norwalk with 37 hits and 17 RBI.

Guzman, who will major in physical therapy, made her decision to attend CSUDH in June. She also targeted SDSU but chose the home of the Toros because she wanted her parents to see her play close to home.

“When I was little, I said I wanted to play in college, and I’m happy I achieved my goal, finally,” Guzman said.

Morrow and Wright have been two reasons why V.C. has won the Olympic League crown in two of the past three seasons. Morrow, a shortstop who will be attending Boston University, was the LCCN Co-Offensive Player of the Year in 2013 after batting a blistering .626 with 54 hits and scoring 36 runs. Morrow also made the LCCN All-Area team her freshman season (second team) and last season (third team).

Wright will be taking her talents to Simpson University in Redding and has been a LCCN All-Area outfielder all three seasons, making the first team as a right fielder her freshman season when she led the Lady Crusaders with a .556 average with 40 hits, 33 runs and four triples.

Also from Valley Christian are Stephanie Lau, who will be going to Northwestern University on a golf scholarship and Rebekah Dominik, a diver who signed to do the same at the University of Nevada, Reno.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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