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Cerritos softball strikes early, fades late against Cypress

NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW

By Loren Kopff

CYPRESS-The Cerritos High softball team, winners of five straight games and six of its last eight, was looking good in the early innings against Cypress this past Tuesday. The Lady Dons had a 3-1 lead against one of the top teams in the California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section Division I.

But the Centurions rallied for three runs in the bottom of the fifth and held on for a 5-3 win. After falling behind 1-0 after the first inning on a base hit from Katie Arce, Cerritos scored twice in the second with two outs. Ashley Ross walked senior first baseman Madison Lee with one out, who was sacrificed over by sophomore third baseman Destiny Lucero. Senior left fielder Leeann Tran then was safe on an error before senior second baseman Amanda Lejano doubled in both runs with a laser of a shot down the left field line.

One inning later, senior pitcher Jennifer Iseri tripled to the right field corner and scored on a single from senior catcher Heather Cameron. After that, Cerritos would be stymied by Ross, who would allow only a fourth inning single from senior center fielder Megan Darling. After Cameron’s single, Ross retired 14 of the final 15 batters she faced, getting 10 groundouts in the process.

Iseri would load the bases with two outs in the bottom of the fifth before Arce drove in all three runs with a double to center. Cerritos (6-6) began pool play action of the Whittier Christian Tournament on Apr. 9 against El Rancho and will face Southlands Christian today and San Dimas on Saturday.

In other softball action, Gahr will finally get back on the field after not playing since Mar. 24 when it visits Warren on Tuesday in the San Gabriel Valley League opener for both teams. The Gladiators and Bears shared the league crown last season with both teams winning at home. Gahr has lost six straight at Warren.

John Glenn is off to another respectable start at 5-5 heading into its road doubleheader against Fullerton on Apr. 9. The Lady Eagles will visit Norwalk on Wednesday in the first of two games with their arch rivals next week. As for Norwalk, it improved to 9-4 following a 3-1, 10-inning win at Pioneer this past Tuesday.

Valley Christian (5-10) edged Glenn 3-2 last Friday and will host Western in a doubleheader on Saturday. The Lady Crusaders will begin Olympic League action at Heritage Christian on Thursday.

BASEBALL

Artesia lost its first four games of the St. Paul Easter Tournament heading into the final game against Harbor Teacher this past Wednesday. The Pioneers (2-13), losers of eight straight games, will host La Mirada on Wednesday.

Cerritos snapped a five-game losing streak with a 7-1 win over Harbor Teacher this past Tuesday. The Dons (11-6) played St. Genevieve this past Wednesday and will be off until travelling to the west side of the city to face Valley Christian for two on Apr. 17. The 11 wins are the most by any Cerritos baseball team since 2001 and the team needs four more wins to assure themselves of a winning season for the first time in over 18 seasons.

GIRLS WRESTLING

Gahr junior Ophelia Lara was recently named an All-American by USA Wrestling after finishing in third place in the USA Wrestling Nationals in Oklahoma City. Lara also competed for the USA-California Nationals team, which took third place.

Lara, who at 150 lbs, finished the recent winter season with 39 victories. She claimed first place at the Eastern Division qualifier and at the California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section finals. Lara is also ranked third in the state.

During the season, Lara finished first in the Baldwin Park, El Monte, La Puente, Lady Gladiator, San Dimas, Santa Ana and Savanna Tournaments.

As a freshman, Lara finished 14-5 at 146 lbs. and came in second place at the CIF-SS finals. She was also one of the top 12 wrestlers in the state. Last season, at 150 lbs., Lara finished 29-8 and took home second place at the Northern Division qualifier. Lara then finished in fourth place at the CIF-SS finals and at state.