Coach Audel Valencia had no complaints following the Ceres Sizzle 12-and-under travel softball team’s third-place finish in the B-bracket of NSA Northern California State Championship Tournament, July 6-7, at Rainbow Fields.
“We had a really good showing,” he said. “We lost to the eventual champion. We literally ran out of time in the last game.”
Seeded ninth, the Sizzle fell one victory shy of advancing to the finals.
Ceres amassed a 5-2 record.
The Central Valley Gators dealt the Sizzle their two losses.
Ceres lost 5-3 to Central Valley in the semifinals on July 7.
“Our girls were under a lot of pressure,” Valencia said. “They had some really talented girls on their team.”
Ceres topped the Lady Hawks (17-4), Oakdale Magic (8-2) and Legacy Girls (18-0) earlier in the day.
The Lady Hawks earned the top seed for the tournament.
“Our hitting has come a long ways. It makes it difficult for team teams to shut us down. Our pitching has been great. Defensively, we’ve struggled against small ball.”Coach Audel Valencia
“Our hitting has come a long ways,” Valencia said. “It makes it difficult for team teams to shut us down. Our pitching has been great. Defensively, we’ve struggled against small ball.”
The Sizzle collected wins against the Stockton Tigers (5-3) and Lemoore Strikers (23-0) in pool play on July 6.
Ceres suffered a four-run loss (10-6) while competing against Central Valley.
“All of our girls hit pretty well during the tournament,” Valencia said. “We just made too many errors on defense the last game.”
The Sizzle have placed first once and third four times this season.
“We have a very strong team,” Valencia said. “We’ve only lost a handful of games. We’re progressing.”
Ceres will compete in the NSA World Series Warmup, July 20-21.
The NSA Pacific Coast World Series will be staged, July 24-28.
“There were a lot of high expectations from the very beginning,” Valencia said. “The girls have exceeded them.”