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Bruins eliminate Bulldogs from section playoffs
Ceres High's varsity softball program made an early exit from the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs last week.

The Bulldogs, the Valley Oak League's No. 2 seed, suffered a 3-1 loss to Capital Valley Conference runner-up Center of Antelope on Tuesday, May 12 at Stockton's Arnaiz Stadium.

"That's a team we should have beat," Ceres High head coach Donnie Donaldson said. "We underestimated them."

Bulldog freshman hurler Kaycee Creek fanned eight, walked one and allowed four hits over six innings.

"She pitched really good," Donaldson said. "She retired the first nine batters to start the game."

Hayley Miles' two-strike, two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth inning gave the Bruins a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Center teammate Natalie Hampton added an RBI double in the sixth.

The Bulldogs tallied their lone run in the top of the sixth inning. Mika Johnson reached first base on a slap hit, stole second, moved to third on Ryan Norton's groundout and scored when Shea Farriester singled through the right side.

In the seventh inning, Ceres High had the tying run at the plate with two down. Freshman Jessica Ellsworth grounded out to end the game, leaving Amanda Lampley stranded on the base path.

"She hit the ball between third and shortstop," Donaldson said. "The fielder dropped to a knee and made a great play. Jessica got thrown out by half a step."

The Bulldogs totaled just five hits on offense.

Johnson batted 2-for-3 from the plate. Creek, Lampley and Farriester all went 1-for-3.

Ceres High finished 20-8 on the year and placed second in the VOL (11-3) despite competing without star pitcher and slugger Vaneza Hoover for most of the season. She was dismissed from the team for undisclosed disciplinary reasons.

"We were still successful after the situation," Donaldson said. "Everybody did their job."