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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW: Mayfield ignites Cerritos’ big fourth inning in Suburban League opener

By Loren Kopff

LAKEWOOD-The first three innings of the Cerritos-Mayfair Suburban League softball opener this past Wednesday is what many expected between a couple of competitive teams vying for a league title this season. Cerritos senior pitcher Jennifer Iseri and Mayfair sophomore Makenna Stram each allowed one hit entering the fourth inning.

That’s when Cerritos sophomore shortstop Lailoni Mayfield battled with Stram, then dumped a double in shallow left field that was tailing towards the left field line on the 10th pitch in that at-bat. It was just the beginning of what would be a nine-run inning for the Lady Dons, who went on to rout the host Monsoons 10-0. It’s the first time Cerritos has scored 10 runs against Mayfair since joining the league in 1999 and just the seventh shutout over the Monsoons in the past 33 meetings. The win also avenged last season’s 8-7, eight inning loss to Mayfair on the road.

Two pitches after Mayfield’s double, Iseri plated her with a single to center and moved to second on an error. On the very next pitch, senior catcher Heather Cameron singled and stole second before Stram walked senior first baseman Madison Lee to load the bases.

That was followed by an infield single from senior right fielder Leeann Tran, then a two-run base hit from sophomore third baseman Destiny Lucero before the first out was recorded.

Senior second baseman Amanda Lejano made it 6-0 with a single to shallow center and back to back singles from senior center fielder Megan Darling and Mayfield loaded the bases again before Iseri’s second double of the frame brought in Lejano and Darling. After a pitching change, Cameron knocked in Mayfield with the final run of the inning. But it was Mayfield’s first at-bat of the inning that may have rattled Stram, who had thrown 28 pitches through the first three innings, but 36 in just the fourth inning alone.

“I think so but I was also just confident in my team,” Mayfield said. “I knew I had to get on [base] and my team would have my back and get me in.”

After that, Iseri, who had struggled slightly with five walks through the first three innings, settled down and allowed one hit in the bottom of the fourth and three base runners in the sixth, none of whom got to second base. Meanwhile, the Lady Dons added their final run in the top of the sixth when Lee’s infield single brought in Iseri, who went two for three with three runs batted in.

Cameron went three for four while Darling and Mayfield each had a pair of hits. All but two starters had a hit and all but one starter reached base.

“I think [Cerritos head] coach Mike [Freeman] prepared us well with the preseason games,” Mayfield said. “We just came in pretty confident knowing what we had in front of us. We knew it was going to be difficult but we were confident in ourselves.”

Cerritos (3-5 overall, 1-0 in league) will go for its first season-series sweep over Mayfair since 2006 when it hosts the Monsoons today. The Lady Dons will then host La Mirada on Tuesday in the front end of a home and home series with the Matadores. The second game will be at La Mirada on Thursday.

“My team was good enough [to win] and I was confident enough and I knew it was possible,” Mayfield said. “But we certainly weren’t expecting to come in and beat them 10-0. We were expecting a closer game. But it’s not a surprise that we did this.”

BASEBALL

Cerritos snapped a 20-game losing streak to Mayfair with an 8-5 road win this past Wednesday. The Dons (10-1 overall, 1-0 in league) scored five runs in the top of the fourth inning highlighted by a three-run, inside the park home run from junior Tyler Beyer. After the Monsoons tied the game with one in the bottom of the fourth, three in the fifth and one more in the sixth, Cerritos tallied three runs in the top of the seventh with senior Jacob Carter eventually getting the game-winner when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Carter also went the distance for his third win of the season. Cerritos will go for its first season series sweep over Mayfair since 2004 today.

Gahr avenged an earlier loss to St. John Bosco with a 12-2 win this past Tuesday to improve to 6-3. The Gladiators will host Millikan on Saturday in a Redondo Tournament game, then host Corona in a doubleheader on Thursday.

John Glenn lost to La Mirada 3-2 this past Wednesday in the Suburban League opener for both squads. The Eagles (6-4, 0-1) took a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the sixth but the Matadores scored once in the final two frames. The two teams will meet at Glenn today before the Eagles will host Whittier on Wednesday.

Valley Christian drubbed Heritage Christian 15-4 in the Olympic League opener for both teams this past Tuesday. The Crusaders (7-3, 1-0) pounded out 18 hits and scored five runs in the top of the fourth and fifth innings. V.C. hosted Village Christian on Mar. 27 and will visit Maranatha on Tuesday before travelling to Whittier Christian on Thursday.