Softball team starts year with five straight wins


Sophomore catcher Kristen Hooper steals second base in the fifth inning against visiting East Los AngelesThey came out of the cage swinging — the young and inexperienced squad, having single digit sophomores, started the season with a five game win-streak.

“You’ve practiced so many times against your own team, that you’re excited to play another team,” said Co-Head Coach Jessica Rapoza.

The streak began at the Glendale Tournament as the Dons went 4-0, outscoring its opponents 41 runs to five.

“We were all communicating and the team worked as a cohesive unit on the field,” said sophomore catcher Kristen Hooper.

Kristen hit .538, (7-13), with seven RBIs and six runs scored in the five wins. Kristen’s twin sister, Kaitlyn, headed the pitching staff through the string of victories.

In the five games Kaitlyn pitched 28 innings and only surrendered three earned runs on 11 hits, while striking out nine.

No other Don threw more than one inning.

“Kaitlyn has been our leader,” said Rapoza. “She established early on she was going to throw strikes.”

Vital to Hooper’s early success in the pitcher’s circle was the Dons defense and a sibling who has the same DNA.

“I have a great defense,” Kaitlyn Hooper said. “It is all them. I’m just letting the batters hit the ball.”

Freshman first baseman Keila Tenorio smacked seven hits in 11 at bats, (.636), plating four runners while scoring three times.

“It was a pleasant surprise to see that Keila really was what we thought she would be,” Rapoza said.
“She was hurt most of the fall, so we didn’t get to see her then.”

The streak ended Feb. 3 in an extra innings, 10-7 loss to visiting Cerritos College.

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This is the third consecutive season the Dons have not lost in the first five games.

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