El Camino softball team soars past the Falcons

Warrior%27s+freshman+center+fielder+Raelani+Camez+hits+an+inside+park-homerun+Tuesday%2C+April+5th+against+Cerritos+College.+The+Warrior%27s+marked+their+victory+over+The+Falcon%27s+7-5.+Photo+credit%3A+Gabriela+Better

Warrior’s freshman center fielder Raelani Camez hits an inside park-homerun Tuesday, April 5th against Cerritos College. The Warrior’s marked their victory over The Falcon’s 7-5. Photo credit: Gabriela Better

A full-body extension in right field from freshman outfielder Kattya Calderon makes for a tough diving catch that robbed a much needed extra-base hit for the visiting team late in the game.

The El Camino College softball team (20-11, 10-5) won its fourth straight contest with a 7-5 victory over South Coast Conference opponent, Cerritos College (23-9, 11-4).

This was the first win for the Warriors in three games played against the Falcons this season. Cerritos College won the first matchup with a final score of 19-3, and won 11-8 in the second game between these two teams.

“We did a really good job of not letting the small things get to us early,” Warriors coach Jessica Rapoza said. “We stayed the course, stayed consistent and stuck with our game plan.”

Freshman outfielder Haley Reed helped the Warriors get on the board first with a two-RBI triple down the right field line in her first at-bat of the game. Reed later scored off of an RBI-single from freshman third baseman Maleigha Quintero to cap off a three-run first inning.

The Falcons’ offense caught fire when they erupted for a four-run fourth inning to give them the lead over El Camino.

With a couple of great defensive stops and some big hits, including an inside-the-park home run from freshman center fielder Raelani Camez, the Warriors were able to capture the lead and add some insurance runs late in the game to help them finish off the Falcons.

“I felt good today (at the plate),” Camez said. “I actually thought she was going to catch it, but I saw her miss it and I just rounded third and scored (the home run).

Freshman pitcher Natalie Francis (11-6) tossed six innings, allowing five runs on 10 hits and four walked batters in the win. Freshman Brooke Sarro entered the game in the top of the seventh inning to earn the save.

“I feel like (the team) did really well,” Francis said. “They kept my head in the game and they made some great plays and didn’t give up. We’ve playing very well and we’re on a streak right now so we just have to keep our bats hot.”

The Warriors collected nine hits in 23 plate appearances, while Cerritos had 11 hits in 31 at-bats.

Camez led the Warriors with three hits in four at-bats and two runners batted in. Reed knocked two hits in three at-bats with two RBIs as well. Freshman left fielder Taylor Richter, Quintero and Calderon produced one hit each for the offense.

“I feel like we are kind of solidifying as a team and we’ve got some good confidence going,” Rapoza said. “Our pitchers are doing the job and the defense is laying out for each other. It’s just good stuff.”

The Warriors will travel to L.A. Pierce College (0-20) tomorrow for a non-conference matchup at 3 p.m.