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7 Ceres softball players recognized
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Ceres High's Mike Corsaut was named the Modesto Metro Conference Coach of the Year in softball. Six of his players were selected to the All-MMC Team, including Meghan Franksen, Heidi Eisenbeis, Jennifer Arnold, Monica Hall, Heather Russell and Jordan Nash.

"This is the first time in my four years my girls were recognized for their excellence," Corsaut said. "We've been slighted in the past."

Davis coach Tami Wilkinson nominated Corsaut. For Corsaut, it's the second coach of the year award in his four seasons at Ceres High.

"It's a great honor," he said. "But at the same time, it's humbling."

The Bulldogs (22-6-1) won the MMC title outright with a 13-2 record and secured a berth in the playoffs for the 20th straight year.

Franksen, Eisenbeis, Arnold and Hall were unanimous first-team, all-MMC selections.

Franksen batted leadoff. The senior shortstop hit .416 with four homers, two triples, eight doubles, 27 runs and 14 RBI.

"She was our sparkplug," Corsaut said.

Eisenbeis played several different positions, including second base, catcher and center field. The senior hit .388 with eight triples, four doubles, 14 runs and 15 RBI.

"She was a true leader," Corsaut said.

"She was committed. She never missed a practice."

Arnold was Ceres' ace pitcher. The junior compiled a 17-4 record with a 0.62 ERA, 150 strikeouts, 19 complete games, six shutouts and one no-hitter. She had just 21 walks.

"She was consistent," Corsaut said.

Arnold was also a major contributor on offense. She hit .365 with one homer, one triple, six doubles, 12 runs and 19 RBI.

"She was stellar at the plate in key situations," Corsaut said.

Monica Hall solidified Ceres' defense. The junior second baseman hit .330 with three triples, four doubles, 22 runs and 11 RBI.

"Versatility comes to mind when I think of Monica," Corsaut said. "She won games for us with her defense. She had a 4-2 record as a pitcher."

Hall pitched at the beginning of the season. She had a 0.48 ERA with 27 strikeouts and four shutouts.

Russell earned second-team, all-MMC honors. The senior infielder had one triple, three doubles, six runs and 10 RBI. She had a .924 fielding percentage.

"It's a testament to what she did for us," Corsaut said. "She played stellar at third base."

Nash was an honorable-mention selection. The junior first baseman had one homer, three doubles, six stolen bases, 11 runs and 11 RBI. She had a .991 fielding percentage.

"She's such a gifted first baseman," Corsaut said. "She only had two errors in 216 chances. She was also a tough out at the plate."

Top Dawgs

The Ceres High varsity softball team held its postseason banquet Wednesday night in the school's cafeteria.

"We had a great team," Corsaut said. "Every girl contributed."

Franksen, Eisenbeis and Jessica Hunter claimed the top awards.

Franksen won the Most Valuable Player Award. She led the team in batting average, hits, homers, doubles, stolen bases, runs, walks, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.

Eisenbeis won the Bulldog Award.

"It's based on commitment and dedication," Corsaut said.

Eisenbeis collected a team-high eight triples. She ranked second in batting average, hits, RBIs, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.

Hunter won the Most Improved Player Award. The junior catcher had one double, scored six times and drove in seven runs. She had a .987 fielding percentage.

"She came up with some big hits at the end of the year," Corsaut said.

So what can we expect from the Bulldogs in 2006?

Three starters graduated, including Franksen, Eisenbeis and Russell. Franksen and Eisenbeis were four-year starters.

"I think we can put a quality team on the field next year," Corsaut said. "We have a good core of girls coming back." - By DALE BUTLER / Staff reporter of the Ceres (Calif.) Courier