Sports

Lady Heralds no match for highly-ranked La Serna

Whittier Christian's Melissa Martene robs La Serna's Dominique Mejia of a hit with a diving catch in the second inning of the Lady Heralds' 12-0 loss, Tuesday at La Serna. Photos by Erik Markus, La Habra Journal
Whittier Christian’s Melissa Martene robs La Serna’s Dominique Mejia of a hit with a diving catch in the second inning of the Lady Heralds’ 12-0 loss, Tuesday at La Serna. Photos by Erik Markus, La Habra Journal

by Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal

Going up against the top-seeded team in CIF-SS Division 3, the Whittier Christian softball team couldn’t contain La Serna, falling 12-0 in five innings, Tuesday afternoon at La Serna High.

The Lady Heralds had no answer for La Serna starting pitcher Jamie Wren, who allowed just one hit in five innings of work.

Defensively, Whittier Christian (6-5) was uneasy and misjudged line drives which, without the help of an outfield fence, allowed the Lady Lancers to put up runs.

“If we had basic plays, it would be 6-0, but we missed those plays,” said Dale Van Duyn, Whittier Christian head coach. “I think that has a lot to do with my outfielders being hesitant to go in for the ball because they didn’t have the fence behind them. They’re a good team, no doubt about it, I think we can take a lot from this game.”

La Serna leadoff hitter Taylor Becerra singlehandedly did half of her team’s damage, batting 3-for-3 with a double, triple and a three-run home run to go with four runs scored and six more driven in.

The Lady Lancers (10-1) put up 14 hits against Lady Heralds’ starter Hannah Gabriel and only got stronger with runners on base.

“Right now our girls are on a roll,” said Mike Reed, La Serna head coach. “They’re seeing the ball well, hitting it well and just getting after it. They want it and they’re out there to prove to everybody what we can do.”

After being held in check for the first two innings, La Serna erupted for 11 runs over the final three innings.

Whittier Christian's Celeste Adriano launches a Jamie Wren pitch into center field for a double in the first inning of the Lady Heralds' 12-0 loss, Tuesday at La Serna.
Whittier Christian’s Celeste Adriano launches a Jamie Wren pitch into center field for a double in the first inning of the Lady Heralds’ 12-0 loss, Tuesday at La Serna.

In contrast, the Lady Heralds had runners on first and second base in the first inning thanks to a double by Celeste Adriano and a walk issued to Katelyn Wagner.

“We had a few hits, but we didn’t have the key hits to go with it,” Van Duyn said.

The two were the only baserunners of the day for Whittier Christian as Wren settled, striking out six batters and walking none.

Wren helped her own cause by driving in two runs with her first two at-bats.

“She really worked it today,” Reed said of Wren. “And Taylor nearly hit for the cycle, but all the girls did a fantastic job today. Those two were just outstanding.”

For Van Duyn, despite the lopsided loss, the game still serves as a learning tool for Olympic League play, which starts April 1 at Heritage Christian.

Whittier Christian hosts Gahr for the team’s final nonleague game before league play, Thursday afternoon.

“They’re another extremely good team,” Van Duyn said. “Overall, I definitely think we’re getting better right before league and hopefully CIF.”

Started in 1995, the La Habra Journal is an independent community news source serving the cities of La Habra and La Habra Heights.