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Trio of area softball players win 16-Under Champions Cup


By Loren Kopff


IRVINE-While the Cal A’s-Iseri 16-Under travel softball team, based out of La Habra, may not have automatically qualified for the Premier Girls Fastpitch National Championships, the top goal every summer for the vast majority of travel teams, it did capture one summer championship. The Cal A’s, which features, among others, catcher/third baseman Celeste Borza and pitcher/outfielder Jennifer Morinishi, both from Cerritos High School and outfielder Ashley Iseri (Whitney High School) won the Southern California International Softball Festival Champions Cup this past Monday afternoon.

The Cal A’s blanked the (West Covina) Orange County Batbusters 1-0 with Morinishi scoring the lone run. After striking out in the top of the first inning, Morinishi led off the fourth with a double down the right field line. Three pitches later, she came home on a double from pitcher Kenedee Jamerson (Santa Monica High School/California State University, Northridge). Those would be two of six hits the Cal A’s would get while Jamerson scattered six as well. Iseri would also get a two-out hit while Borza drew a two-out walk, both in the second inning.

The Cal A’s finished first in its pool, winning five of six games played from last Thursday through last Saturday. The team opened up the Champions Cup with a 13-1 win over the (Visalia) Central California Krush last Thursday afternoon as Borza went one for two while Iseri scored twice. Immediately after the game, Iseri scored once in a 7-1 win over the Davis Lady Demons.

Last Friday morning, Iseri and Morinishi each had a hit in a 5-1 win over the (Pleasanton) Lady Hustle. Morinnishi also pitched four innings, allowing two hits and striking out five. Then the team played to a 4-4 tie against the (West Covina) Orange County Batbusters-Perez as Morinishi picked up another hit and scored a first-inning run.

The Cal A’s wrapped up pool play action with victories over the (Roseville) Team California-Adame (14-0) and the Central California DirtDogs Mizuno-DD (1-0) last Saturday. Morinishi continued her stellar hitting with three more hits, one of which was a triple, and tossed two innings of two-hit ball with two strikeouts in the first game. Borza and Iseri each drove in a run.

The single elimination playoff portion of the tournament kicked off this past Sunday and the Cal A’s blanked the Las Vegas Rage 3-0 with Morinishi pitching a complete game, six-inning affair, allowing a pair of hits and striking out two. Iseri also collected a single. Later in the evening, the team edged the (Sacramento) California Grapettes-Kappmeyer 2-1. In the quarterfinals, the team posted a 9-0 win over the (Riverside) Firecrackers Arizmendi this past Monday morning as Morinishi had a double and a single and Iseri added a hit and drive in a run.

That was followed by a 3-0 victory over the (Pemberton, OR) NW Batbusters with all of the runs coming in the bottom of the third. Borza picked up a hit, Iseri drew a walk and scored once and Morinishi drove in a run as well as working one and a third innings, yielding two hits and striking out one.

Elsewhere in the Champions Cup, the 18-Under teams kicked off pool play this past Wednesday morning and the Cerritos-based Cal A’s White team played a pair of pool play games beginning with a 6-2 win over (Ontario) Teamsmith-Silva/Hotetz and a 5-0 win over the (Kelso) WA Illusion-Gray. The Cal A’s, which also had two more pool play games on July 16 and another two today, feature recent Cerritos High graduates Heather Cameron and Jennifer Iseri, both going to the University of Hawai’i and recent Norwalk High School graduate Jazmin Guzman (California State University, Dominguez Hills). The single elimination playoffs begin on Saturday with the championship game slated for 5:30 Sunday evening at Deanna Manning Stadium at Bill Barber Park.