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CHS, CV remain in playoff hunt
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Ceres High's and Central Valley's varsity baseball and softball teams have reached the midway point of the Western Athletic Conference season.

Ceres High's softball squad finds itself tied with Los Banos atop the league standings (5-1) thanks in large part to the play of veteran players Kaycee Creek, Cierra Hammons, Jessica Ellsworth, Kassandra Carrillo and Alexis Cummings.

Creek, a standout pitcher and hitter, had a near-perfect record on the mound.

She posted a 1.57 ERA with 40 strikeouts and 13 walks in six starts. Kaycee allowed just nine earned runs.

Creek batted .474 (9-for-19) with one triple, five doubles, three RBIs and 10 runs.

Hammons batted .722 (12-for-15) with three doubles, five RBIs and two runs.

Cummings batted .571 (12-for-21) with two doubles, 11 RBIs and one run.

Carrillo batted .467 (7-for-15) with four RBIs and two runs.

Ellsworth batted .381 (8-for-21) with one homer, three RBIs and seven runs.

"To be sitting on top is not unexpected," Bulldogs head coach Donnie Donaldson said. "We have a pretty good hitting team from top to bottom. Kaycee's been pitching really well. She's getting stronger. I think we'll have a successful second half of the season. We have six seniors on the team. They want to finish their high-school careers on a positive note."

Ceres High won its first five WAC games before losing 7-2 to second-place Central Catholic (4-2).

"Our preseason schedule set us up for league," Donaldson said. "We never shied away from anybody."

The Bulldogs' non-conference slate included games against Enochs, Gregori, Modesto High, Sierra, Weston Ranch, Merced, Buhach Colony, Riverbank and Summerville.

"Our goal is to win a league championship," Donaldson said. "We haven't won one since I've been here. We've made the playoffs a couple of times."

Central Valley's softball team (1-5) finished in a three-way tie for last place in the WAC with Patterson and Pacheco under first-year head coach Kristen Ghimenti's guidance.

The Hawks edged varsity-newcomer Pacheco 8-7 in extra innings.

Ceres High's baseball program (3-2) holds a half-game lead over third-place Los Banos (3-3).

Central Valley (2-4) tied for fifth place with Livingston.

The Hawks trail Central Catholic (5-1), Patterson (5-1), Ceres High and Los Banos in the league standings.

The top three teams in the WAC qualify for the postseason.