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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW Mistakes on the basepaths costs Valley Christian softball in Olympic League opener

By Loren Kopff

@LorenKopff on Twitter


When the Valley Christian High softball team hosted Village Christian High in the Olympic League opener last Thursday they were dealing with more than high winds blowing at 18 miles per hour at game time with gusts up to 29 miles per hours. Valley Christian was also dealing with missed scoring chances because of mistakes with runners in scoring position.

Village Christian edged Valley Christian 2-0 but had a pair of runners get thrown out at home and more runners stranded in scoring position. After junior designated player Alex Burgess-Allen was left at second with two outs in the bottom of the first inning, Valley Christian was looking good the next inning when freshman catcher Quinn Livesay was awarded first base when Ally Melgar was called for an illegal pitch. She advanced on a base hit from junior center fielder Katie Morewood. But moments later, Livesay would be picked off and thrown out at home by Kaylani Miller. Morewood would eventually be stranded at third base after a strikeout ended the inning.

Village Christian scored both of its runs in the top of the fourth on run-scoring singles from Melgar and Bella Orozco. But Valley Christian was in another prime position to score in its half of the inning. Sophomore shortstop Kate Van Kampen led off with a double to the left field gap and went to third on a single to left from Livesay.

However, Van Kampen ran through the stop sign put up by Valley Christian head coach Nichole McGahey and the aggressive runner was thrown out at home That would prove to be critical because two pitches later, Morewood singled to put runners at first and second.

“Oh, I was thinking, ‘this is fantastic, another baserunner, we have the bases loaded right now’,” McGahey said. “I turn around and she’s already gone. Kate has a lot of speed and she has confidence. She thought she could make it.”

A groundout from senior first baseman Moriah Easley on the next pitch and a pop-up ended the best scoring threat for Valley Christian in the contest as it would get one more baserunner the remainder of the game, a two-out walk issued to junior second baseman Morgan McGahey in the fifth.

“I [told her after the game], ‘you’re fast enough and I trust you with your baserunning’,” Nichole McGahey said. “She just even said, ‘that was an error on my part’. That’s what I love about Kate; is that she’s humble enough to admit it.”

Valley Christian would then fall to Whittier Christian High 7-3 this past Tuesday to fall to 6-7 overall and 0-2 in league play. Valley Christian hosted Maranatha High on Apr. 19 and will visit Heritage Christian on Tuesday and welcome Samueli Academy on Thursday.

In other softball action, Artesia High dropped a 12-1 decision to Mayfair High this past Tuesday to fall to 7-9 overall and 2-4 in the Suburban League. The Lady Pioneers visited Norwalk High on Apr. 19 in what could turn out to be a playoff game for both teams. Norwalk (7-7, 3-3), which shutout Bellflower High 5-0 this past Tuesday, is one game ahead of Artesia for the final automatic playoff spot in the league and defeated Artesia 6-2 on Mar. 20. Artesia will also host La Mirada High on Tuesday while Norwalk visits Cerritos High on Tuesday and hosts La Mirada on Thursday.

Cerritos took over sole position of first place in the Suburban League with an 8-7 win over La Mirada this past Tuesday. The Lady Dons improved to 13-4, 6-0 and was home to John Glenn High on Apr. 19. Cerritos will also visit Bellflower on Thursday.

Glenn was blanked by La Mirada 17-0 last Thursday to fall to 2-12, 0-7. The Lady Eagles have lost 10 straight games and have been outscored 99-6 in league competition. Glenn will be home to Bellflower on Tuesday and travel to Mayfair on Thursday.

Whitney High was blanked by Calvary Chapel Downey High 4-0 last Friday, the sixth time it has been shutout in eight games this season. The Lady Wildcats then rebounded to smash Brethren Christian High 14-2 this past Tuesday to improve to 2-7 overall and 1-2 in the Academy League. Whitney hosted Crean Lutheran High on Apr. 19 in its final regular season home game.


Artesia’s scoring woes in league play continues as the Pioneers were blasted by La Mirada 30-1 last Friday and Glenn 15-0 this past Wednesday to remain winless in seven league games and have one win on the season. The Pioneers have been outscored 117-1 in league play and not including a 25-9 loss to St. Margaret’s High this past Monday, the Pioneers have scored 27 runs all season. Artesia will wrap up its home and home series with Glenn today at home, then visit Norwalk on Wednesday.

Cerritos edged Mayfair 5-4 this past Wednesday to improve to 15-6, 4-3 and stay in the hunt for a postseason berth. The Dons are ranked seventh in the California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section Division 4 poll and will visit the Monsoons today before travelling to Woodcrest Christian High on Tuesday.

Gahr blanked Dominguez High 16-0 last Friday, fell to Tesoro High 7-1 last Saturday in an El Dorado Steakhouse Tournament game and shutout Lynwood High 9-0 this past Tuesday to improve to 11-7 overall and 3-0 in the San Gabriel Valley League. The Gladiators will host Lynwood today and Dana Hills High on Saturday before welcoming Warren High on Tuesday in a battle for first place.

Another series that is for first place will take place at Rio Hondo College on Wednesday when Glenn hosts La Mirada for supremacy in the Suburban League. Entering today’s road contest at Artesia, Glenn is 15-5, 5-0 and second in Division 4 while La Mirada is 17-3-1, 6-0 and ranked sixth in Division 1.

Norwalk dropped its fourth straight game, a 4-1 setback to Bellflower and is 8-8, 2-3. The Lancers will host the Buccaneers today and a loss to seriously dampen Norwalk’s playoff chances.

Valley Christian was swept by Warren High in a doubleheader last Saturday, 13-7 and 7-0, then was doubled up by Village Christian 6-3 this past Tuesday to fall to 8-10 overall and 0-4 in the Olympic League. Valley Christian will host Village Christian today and Whittier Christian on Tuesday before travelling to Whittier Christian on Thursday to makeup a game from Mar. 23.

Whitney got into the win column in Academy League action after crushing Brethren Christian 14-6 this past Tuesday. The Wildcats (4-7, 1-4) will host the Warriors today and Crean Lutheran on Tuesday.

In non-athletic news, Valley Christian High will have a new mascot beginning with the 2018-2019 academic school year. V.C., which has been known as the Crusaders since 1947, will now be known as the Defenders, as voted upon by a sub-committee of the V.C. Board of Directors, including alumni, high school students and other stakeholders, according to a press release that came out last Friday.

“Our team worked to communicate strength and might in this process,” said V.C. athletic director Zac Chan. “We’re confident the Defender reflects Valley Christian’s mission and values, as well as our historical legacy.”

V.C. was also known as the Western Star from 1935-1947.