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CHS grads Estremera, Jara rewarded
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Ceres' Omaira Estremera and Michelle Jara were recognized at the California Community College Softball Award Banquet Thursday night in Roseville.

Estremera was named to the all-state team.

Jara was named to the all-Northern California team.

"I'm happy," Estremera said. "I wasn't expecting anything. At the beginning of the year, I pulled a muscle in my back and didn't pitch a couple of games."

"I'm still shocked," Jara said.

The 2003 Ceres High graduates guided the Modesto Junior College softball team to its first league championship and into the playoffs for the second year in a row this past season. The Pirates compiled a 25-14 overall record and 17-4 mark in Central Valley Conference play.

"I'm proud of my team," Estremera said. "Our goal was to just make it to playoffs. We didn't expect to win league."

Estremera, Jara and Modesto JC dropped two of three games at the Northern California Community College Playoffs, held at Delta College in Stockton earlier this month. Ninth-seeded Sierra College eliminated the eighth-seeded Pirates from postseason play.

"I believe I could have done a lot better," Estremera said. "It wasn't one of my best days."

Jara didn't even get to play. She usually starts at second base.

"I broke my right index finger in a meaningless game a week before playoffs started," she said. "I did get to run."

Estremera and Jara had stellar sophomore campaigns. Both earned all-CVC honors.

Estremera was named the CVC Pitcher of the Year. The southpaw compiled a 17-5 record.

"I couldn't have done anything without my team," Estremera said.

Jara was a first-team, all-CVC selection. She wasn't recognized last season.

"I hit a lot better this year," said Jara, who belted a team-high four homers. "I don't know what I did."

Estremera and Jara will both enroll and play softball at four-year colleges this fall. For the first time in four years, Estremera and Jara won't be on the same team. They played two varsity seasons together at Ceres High.

Estremera will attend Cal State Stanislaus or Western New Mexico University, which she plans to visit in a couple of weeks.

Jara narrowed her choices down to Dickinson State University in North Dakota and Chaminade University of Honolulu in Hawaii.

"I'm really glad I went to junior college," Estremera said. "I got a lot of experience."

Added Jara: "I learned a lot. And had a lot of fun." - By DALE BUTLER / Staff reporter of the Ceres (Calif.) Courier