Girls’ softball wins play in game at Rancho Cucamonga

The 2023 Culver City High softball players and coaches gather for a photo. (George Laase)

The Culver City high school girls softball team won their at-large play-in game last Tuesday on the road against Rancho Cucamonga 5-4. Their next first round game in the CIF Division 3 Playoffs is Thursday (today May 4) on the road again against Norwalk at 3:15 p.m.

Norwalk is 22-5 overall and 14-0 in the Suburban League while the Centaurs are 15- 10 overall and 6-4 in the Bay league. Looking at the schedules it appears that Culver City played in a much tougher league. Hopefully that will put the Centaurs in a better position to advance.

To get into the playoffs the Centaurs had to beat Santa Monica last week at home.

They got the job done behind the stellar pitching of Taylor Peacock and the clutch hitting of Lina Onofre. The final score was 1-0.

Now the playoffs continue. “It’s super exciting,” said assistant coach Kalie Nakao after they beat Santa Monica last week. “We honestly didn’t know if we were going to make the playoffs this year. We are super proud that the girls fought all year long.”

Nakao likes their chances in the post season. “We have a stud pitcher (Peacock) and our freshmen catcher (Martin Hayden) has gotten better every game. Our infield is com- ing together. We are starting to swing the bat now. We have to keep our defense together and if we do those things, I think we can make a little run in the playoffs.”

16 athletes in CIF Track Prelims

Some high schools are fortunate to send four or five student athletes to the CIF Track and Field preliminaries but when you send 16, that’s quite an accomplishment. That’s how many the Centaurs will be sending to the Division 2 prelims on Saturday, at Ventura high school.

Leading the way for the girls’ team will be one of the fastest runners in the nation, Joelle Trepagnier, and the boys’ team is led by Kaiden Whitt. Both athletes will be competing in multiple events. Make no mistake, both ath- letes are surrounded by other outstanding track and field athletes. Culver City’s talent runs deep.

Their talent was on full display last Friday night at Redondo Union high school in the Bay League Track and Field Finals. On a cold South Bay night, the Centaurs made their coaches and fans happy. “I am very proud of the performances of our student athletes,” said head boys coach Jahmal Wright. “They work so hard all season, and we are peaking at the right time. I am very proud of how we competed tonight.”

Wright is excited to see what the athletes will do in the CIF competition. “When we get to CIF, I think the skies are the limit. We seem to rise to the occasion. The bigger the meet, the better the competition and the better we run. I think the best is yet to come with our athletes.”

The girls coach, Lashinda Demus is also excited about what the Centaurs have the potential to do in CIF. A former world class runner and first year coach, Demus knows how to relate to the kids. “I know what it takes to get the job done just like Coach B (former coach Rayfield M. Beaton), and the girls are willing so that’s good. I love to develop athletes and Culver City has a lot of good athletes.”