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Ceres High softball teammates Creek, Hammons earn college scholarships
Ceres High varsity softball standouts Kaycee Creek and Cierra Hammons finalized their college plans.

Creek will move to the East Coast.

Hammons will remain in California.

Kaycee and Cierra earned partial scholarships to Newbury College and Simpson University, respectively.

"I think they'll both have a lot of success in the future," Bulldogs head coach Donnie Donaldson said.

Stated Creek: "It's a relief. All the years of playing finally paid off."

Added Hammons: "It took a lot of hard work. I can relax now. I don't have to worry about signing."

Creek visited the Division-III private school for four days in Brookline, Massachusetts last October. She attended four classes, met the softball team and toured Boston.

"I fell in love with the school itself," said Creek, who will contribute at pitcher and third base. "I want to do something with culinary arts. Softball is a plus."

Anjelina Mayjoffo, Creek's former OBS Monarchs travel ball teammate, is a freshman softball player at Newbury. George Borden, a 2011 Ceres High graduate and one of Kaycee's good friends, is enrolled at nearby Boston University.

"It's hard leaving my family," Creek said. "But I know two people who are over there."

Kaycee turned down scholarship offers from several junior colleges in Florida.

She also considered trying out for San Francisco's Academy of Art University softball team.

Creek joined Ceres High's varsity softball program her freshman year. She earned first-team, all-league honors the past three seasons.

Kaycee batted .385 with four homers, four triples, three doubles, 13 RBIs and 18 runs her junior year. She compiled an 8-6 record with a 1.85 ERA, four shutouts, 72 strikeouts and 32 walks at pitcher.

"She's played ever since she was 10," said Donaldson, Creek's coach and father. "She's always been a good hitter. I've got to see her develop into a phenomenal pitcher. I'm definitely proud of her."

Hammons, a third-year varsity player, committed to Simpson University (Redding, CA) in October. The senior catcher/third baseman originally signed with Bethany University in May of 2011 but the Assemblies of God college shut down in June because of financial problems.

Hammons didn't have trouble finding another suitor. She peaked the interest of more than a half-dozen schools, including Simpson, William Jessup, Holy Names, CSU San Marcos, CSU Monterey, San Francisco State and Willamette University, while playing for the California Grapettes during the summertime.

Cierra will reunite with former Bulldog teammate Ryan Norton.

"I like where the school's at," said Hammons, who will major in psychology. "My best friend goes there and their softball team is really good."

Slowed by a right shoulder injury, Cierra batted just .254 with one triple, three doubles, four RBIs and seven runs her junior year.

She's having a stellar final season.

Hammons hit .722 (12-for-15) with three doubles, five RBIs and two runs during the first half of the Western Athletic Conference campaign. She allowed just two stolen bases and picked off six runners at catcher.

"Cierra was given a gift," Donaldson said. "She has a cannon for an arm. That's going to benefit her in college."

"I've been doing a lot better this year," Hammons said. "My arm hasn't been hurting me as much."

Creek and Hammons are trying to lead Ceres High to its first league title since 2005. The Bulldogs last participated in the playoffs in 2009.

First-place Ceres High (7-1) had a one-game lead over Los Banos (5-2) in the WAC standings as of Sunday.

"It would make our year winning league," Hammons said. "We all want to go to the playoffs."

Added Creek: "I expected us to be good. Our whole team gets along."