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Mayfair takes advantage of Norwalk errors in final two innings, sweep season series

By Loren Kopff

With so much talk being centered on the Cerritos, Mayfair and La Mirada softball teams in the past, Norwalk has jumped into that conversation this season and was hoping to rebound from a shutout loss to Mayfair in the Suburban League opener. But the Lady Lancers yielded 10 runs and 10 hits over the final two innings last Friday and were blasted by the Monsoons 16-4 in a game that lasted nearly three hours.
After losing 6-0 two days earlier to open league action, the Lady Lancers found themselves trailing 6-0 again after four innings. But they scratched across one run in the bottom of the fourth and three more in the fifth to make it interesting. Then the Mayfair bats came alive and did a number on freshman pitcher Serena Nicolas (five runs, five hits in two innings) and junior pitcher Amanda Benas (five runs, six hits in one inning). All five runs in the sixth were with two outs.
“I don’t know what to say,” said Norwalk first-year head coach Antonio Aguirre. “We just keep beating ourselves and making mistakes we shouldn’t be making. There’s not a whole lot I can say there. We got back right in the game at 6-4, and then we made the miscues. We made the miscues at the beginning but recovered and then we went right back and made the miscues.”
“We’re a team that can come out and swing the bat,” said Mayfair head coach Erin Brown. “That’s for sure. They will come out and swing the bat, and they want to hit. That’s a great feeling.”
The two out rally was even working for Mayfair early as it scored a pair of two-out unearned runs in the top of the first when Mayfair third baseman Tyler Johnson reached on Norwalk’s second error of the inning. In the next inning, second baseman Lexie Shue’s two-out single brought home Bobbie Amezcua, who had earlier reached on the third of five Norwalk errors in the game. In the third, again with two outs, designated player Nia Rodman singled, stole second and scored on a base hit from catcher Sarah Parten.
Mayfair’s lead increased to 6-0 in the fourth as right fielder Jessica Torrez and shortstop Ashlee Snyder scored on pitcher Nyah Rodman’s two-out triple to right field. The Lady Lancers finally woke up in their half of the fourth when sophomore pitcher Destiny Vasquez was hit by a pitch and eventually scored on an error. In the next inning, Nicolas singled to center and with two outs, freshman right fielder Kathleen Perez was hit by a pitch. Vasquez would then reach on an error before senior catcher Crystal Cano followed with a double just inside the third base line, plating Nicolas and Perez. Vasquez scored Norwalk’s last run on the fourth Mayfair error.
But it was too little, too late as Mayfair went to town after Vasquez left the game having thrown 93 pitches through four innings. In the top of the sixth with two outs, Shue, Snyder, Nyah Rodman had successive hits before Nicolas walked Johnson. Three of the five runs in the frame were unearned.
“We’ve been struggling with that a little bit,” Brown said of two-out hits. “We’ve been in some big games where we’ve left two runners on, three runners on time and time again. This is something again we’ve been working on in practice. It’s starting to carry over and they’re not rolling over with two outs.”
Both Rodman sisters as well as Shue collected three hits and eight of the nine Mayfair starters had at least one hit. Nyah Rodman went the distance, scattering half a dozen hits and striking out three. This was Mayfair’s fifth straight win over Norwalk and eighth in the last nine meetings.
“I wasn’t worried about a letdown,” Brown said. “But what we’ve been telling them from the minute our first game [with Norwalk] ended on Wednesday was that Norwalk is a good team and they’re going to come in and it’s going to be hard to beat them on their field.”
“It was tough,” Aguirre said. “We’re hoping to bounce back. We’ll be back. We played them better the second time than we did the first time.”
Cano was three for four as Norwalk (5-5 overall, 0-2 in league) split a pair of Whittier Tournament games last Saturday and posted a 14-3 victory over Downey Calvary Chapel this past Tuesday. The team doesn’t resume league action until Apr. 10 when it hosts defending league champs La Mirada, which has won six straight over the Lady Lancers and 25 in the last 28 meetings.
“Being the first-year coach here…it’s tough going against some of these schools that we haven’t seen before that we know are quality schools like Mayfair and La Mirada,” Aguirre said. “Cerritos is pretty good too. It’s tough to get in there but you have to start somewhere. We just have to focus and bounce back against La Mirada in two weeks.”




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