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Donaldson trio enjoys success at Waterford
Coached by their father Donnie Donaldson (middle), sisters Kaytlin (left) and Alyssa filled important roles as Waterford High Schools varsity softball team posted a 17-8-1 record, placed second in the Southern League and advanced to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-VI playoffs this past spring. Donnie, Kaytlin and Alyssa reside in Ceres. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

A former standout at Ceres High, Kaytlin Donaldson spent her final two seasons at Waterford.

The standout pitcher/hitter helped the Wildcats' varsity softball program continue its winning tradition.

"A lot of the success came from the confidence behind me," Kaytlin said. "My younger teammates looked up to me."

Waterford compiled a 17-8-1 overall record, finished second in the Southern League (12-2) and qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-VI playoffs as Kaytlin teamed up with her younger sister (Alyssa) and her father Donnie (head coach) this past spring.

"I had a blast watching both of them play," Donnie said. "It's one of the highlights of my coaching career."

"It was really nice having our dad on the sidelines," said Kaytlin, who's played softball for her father since the age of eight. "He's always been there to push us to do our best. He's a good coach."

Kaytlin shared the SL Most Valuable Player Award with Mariposa's Leah Lafata.

"She showed everybody what he's capable of," Donnie said.

Kaytlin posted a 17-8 record with a 1.82 ERA, three no-hitters, four shutouts and 22 complete games.

She ranked second in the Sac-Joaquin Section in strikeouts with 277.

"It was my turn to dominate in the circle," said Kaytlin, who starred at shortstop her junior year.

Kaytlin batted .593 from the plate with eight home runs, five triples, 19 doubles, 36 RBIs, 45 runs and nine stolen bases.

Kaytlin was named a Cal-Hi Sports State Star of the Week on April 16 following her performances against Ripon Christian and LeGrand.

She pitched a no-hitter with nine strikeouts in Waterford's 12-1 rout of LeGrand.

Kaytlin batted 1.000 (4-for-4) with two triples, two doubles, four RBIs and three runs on offense.

She finished 3-for-4 with two triples, one RBI and three runs during the Wildcats' 12-1 win over the Indians.

"It was really awesome to get recognized," Kaytlin said.

Added Donnie: "She does a lot of the same stuff during travel ball. She's pretty consistent."

Alyssa, a standout freshman utility player, was named to the SL First Team.

She batted .471 with five homers, three triples, 17 doubles, 49 RBIs, 27 runs and nine stolen bases.

"She had an unbelievable season," Donnie said.

Alyssa set a program record for runs batted in during a single season.

"I wouldn't say she surprised me," Kaytlin said. "She was a good hitter and fielder in travel ball. We've both always put in the hard work."

Alyssa logged playing time at catcher, third base and first base.

Kaytlin and Alyssa hit back-to-back homers in a 14-4 victory against Orestimba on April 19.

"Our team called us the Donaldson duo," Kaytlin said. "This was our first time being on the same team. It was really fun. She did a great job. I'm really proud of her. I can't wait to see all the other records she breaks."

Kaytlin had a productive two-year career with Ceres High.

She amassed an 18-5 record at pitcher with 105 strikeouts and nine shutouts.

She batted .333 with two homers, one triple, 15 doubles, 53 RBIs and 40 runs.

Kaytlin shared the Western Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year award with Pacheco's Gia Rodoni during her sophomore year.

She had a perfect 10-0 record in the circle with a 1.87 ERA, six shutouts and 61 strikeouts.

She hit .365 with one homer, one triple, eight doubles, 27 RBIs and 23 runs.

The 2014 Bulldogs had a 21-6 overall mark, participated in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV playoffs and claimed the WAC championship (12-0).

Led by four-year varsity players Nicole Bates, Mahlena O'Neal, Sabrina Baisdon, Mackenzie Veuve and Jessica Arreola, Ceres High made history in 2016 by capturing the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III title.

"I believe things happen for a reason," Kaytlin said. "I'm still good friends with them. I've been able to create my own success. I'm excited to see their accomplishments as well."

Kaytlin will continue her softball career at Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU). She signed with the Bulldogs on Nov. 12 at the Tri-County Smash Athletic Facility in Modesto.

SWOSU compiled a 17-35 overall record and placed ninth in the GAC standings (15-27) this past season.

"I'm really excited to play softball at the next level," Kaytlin said. "It's a dream come true."