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A major turn-around:
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Central Valley High School's varsity softball team entered the 2009 Valley Oak League season eager to reverse its past misfortunes.

At 5-5, the Hawks have already more than quadrupled their win total from a year ago. Central Valley had a combined 1-27 record over the past two seasons.

"There's a change in the atmosphere," Hawks head coach Veronica Giddens said. "They're getting confidence in themselves. They're definitely having more fun."

Central Valley defeated Manteca 7-6 on Friday in Ceres for its fifth win. The victory gives the Hawks a .500 mark in conference play with four games remaining.

Central Valley sophomore pitcher Vicky Ochoa yielded seven hits and five earned runs with three strikeouts.

The Hawks took control of the game with a five-run outburst in the second inning. Sophomore Alyssa Meshach hit a two-run homer. Alex Serna had a two-run single. The Hawks also scored a run on an error.

Amandah Fleming collected two singles in three at-bats.

The Hawks picked up their fourth win on Wednesday, beating visiting Weston Ranch 7-3.

Ochoa retired nine batters via strikeout, scattered eight hits and allowed two earned runs over seven innings.

Sophomore Kiana Lallana singled twice.

Jazmin Castillo doubled.

Fleming and sophomore Jessica Berndt had one hit apiece.

Central Valley has experienced a major turnaround in its third season of varsity softball.

The Hawks will travel to Oakdale today and Sonora on Friday.

"They have a lot more drive to win because they know they can," Giddens said. "They're competitive."