The Ceres Sizzle 8-and-under travel softball team excelled in all areas while placing first during the Second Annual Jaynie Little Memorial Tournament in Hollister this past weekend.
“This was probably our best performance this season,” head coach Sierra De Leon said. “Overall, our pitching was on point the entire tournament. Offensively, they were all swinging the bats. It was pretty impressive.”
Ceres won all five of its games at the USA Softball event.
The Sizzle posted four shutouts while outscoring their opponents, 30-3.
Gabrielle Cole, Olivia Sanchez and Sophia Santillan logged playing time at pitcher.
Top-seeded Ceres pulled away for a 6-3 win over the second-seeded Cabrillo Crushers in the championship game on Sunday.
The Sizzle and Crushers entered the contest with unblemished records.
“It was a tough game,” De Leon said. “They gave us a run for our money.”
Cole, Ceres’ ace pitcher, tallied five strikeouts in two innings.
“She’s amazing,” De Leon said. “Over the past three tournaments, she’s had 89 strikeouts.”
Madelyn Morales broke a scoreless tie with a two-run double in the bottom of the third inning.
“That got us going,” De Leon said. “Our whole lineup started hitting after that.”
Ceres blanked the San Jose Twisters 5-0 in the semifinals on Sunday.
The Sizzle shut out the Twisters (8-0), Hollister Heat (8-0) and Monterey County Raptors (3-0) in pool play on Saturday.
Leilani De Leon hit a three-run homer against the Raptors.
Cole homered versus the Twisters.
Ceres compiled an 0-4 record while competing in the 10-and-under bracket of the NSA Northern California State Championship B-Tournament in Manteca the previous weekend.
“Playing girls their age this weekend, they were a lot more confident,” Sierra De Leon said.
Ceres improved its overall record to 14-5.
The Sizzle have placed first twice and second once this season.
“We struggled the past couple years. The girls are finally starting to under the game a little more. They’ve definitely exceeded our expectations this year. We expect a lot from them.”Coach Sierra De Leon
“We struggled the past couple years,” coach De Leon said. “The girls are finally starting to under the game a little more. They’ve definitely exceeded our expectations this year. We expect a lot from them.”
Ceres will compete in the 10-and-under age bracket at the NSA Pacific Coast World Series, July 24-28, at the Northgate Softball Complex in Manteca.
“They’ll do a lot better this time around against older girls,” coach De Leon said. “They’ll be a little more prepared. They’ll know what to expect.”