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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW: Gahr softball needs one inning to take care of Downey

By Loren Kopff

DOWNEY-For the Gahr High softball team, the city of Downey hasn’t been too kind for nearly two decades. Since 1998, the Gladiators have gone a combined 10-25-1 at Downey and at Warren, clearly the worst road marks against any of the San Gabriel Valley League teams.

One of those losses came on Apr. 14 at Warren but Gahr bounced back and after destroying Paramount 13-0 last Thursday, the Gladiators held on for a 5-2 victory at Downey this past Tuesday. It marked the first time in at least 18 years that Gahr has won back to back games at Downey.

After the Vikings took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second when Sabrina Hernandez stole home, the Gladiators (12-6 overall, 2-1 in league) batted around in the third inning. It started with freshman shortstop Dejanae Davis bunting in front of home plate for an infield hit. After stealing second and Danielle Garcia walking freshman right fielder Jesse Alvarado, sophomore third baseman Malia Quarles singled home Davis.

That was followed by a base hit from sophomore catcher Alyssa Kumiyama and later in the inning, junior center fielder Alyssa Cuffia’s single to center brought home freshman courtesy runner Jade Wittman and senior first baseman Celeste Gonzalez, who had reached on a fielder’s choice.

Cuffia, who has gone four for five in the past two games with six runs batted in, also came up huge on the defensive end in the fourth when she threw out Victoria Guerrero at home. The final Gahr run came in the fourth when Davis again bunted in front of home and was safe, stole second and came home on a sacrifice fly from Quarles. Cuffia, Davis and Quarles all had a pair of hits while sophomore Naomi Dickerson picked up the win, going three innings and scattering four hits. Freshman Dani Martinez worked the final three frames of four-hit ball to claim her fourth save of the season.

Martinez was challenged a bit in the final inning when she walked Helaina Gallardo in between singles from Alena De La Torre and Melena Gebur. But Martinez got Ronnie Galvez to ground out to end the game.

Gahr hosted last place Dominguez on Apr. 23 and will face Cajon and Mira Costa on Saturday in the La Mirada Tournament. The Gladiators will close out the first round of league play against Lynwood on Tuesday before hosting Warren on Thursday.

In other softball action, Artesia (7-8 overall, 0-5 in the Suburban League) was held to one hit by Norwalk freshman sensation Breanna Vasquez in a 10-0 loss this past Wednesday. The two teams will meet today at Artesia before the Pioneers visit Mayfair on Wednesday while Norwalk, which got a pair of hits from senior shortstop Jazmin Guzman, junior catcher Samantha Ontiveros and junior third baseman Kathleen Perez, will make a trip to La Mirada on Wednesday.

Valley Christian won its seventh straight game after blanking Village Christian 10-0 this past Tuesday. The Lady Crusaders (9-10 overall, 2-0 in the Olympic League) travelled to Maranatha on Apr. 23 and will host Whittier Christian on Tuesday to end the first loop of league play.

Whitney notched its first Academy League victory with a 10-0 home triumph over Brethren Christian this past Tuesday. The Lady Wildcats (5-8, 1-2) will host Crean Lutheran today.

BASEBALL

Norwalk kept Artesia winless in the Suburban League by virtue of a 10-1 home win this past Wednesday. The Lancers improved to 6-9 overall, 2-5 in league while the Pioneers dropped to 3-16, 0-5.

Gahr fell to Paramount 4-2 this past Tuesday in the front end of a home and home series with the Pirates. The second game will be today at Gahr. The Gladiators (12-9, 1-2) will meet West Torrance on Saturday in a Redondo Tournament game, then visit Downey on Tuesday.

John Glenn posted a 5-2 home win over Mayfair this past Wednesday to increase its mark to 12-7 overall, 4-1 in the Suburban League. It’s the first win over the Monsoons since Apr. 18, 2007 and the first home win over Mayfair since Apr. 5, 2006.

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