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Veuve sisters help CHS softball to Section crown
Mackenzie, Shelby starters on championship squad
The Veuve sisters, Mackenzie (right) and Shelby, played softball together at the high-school level for the first time this past spring. Ceres High won the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III title. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

Paul Veuve and Tamara Hidalgo graduated from Ceres High School in 1994.

Veuve and Hiidalgo got married on Nov. 16, 1996.

Their first child, Mackenzie, was born in 1998.

Shelby was born in 1999.

Mackenzie and Shelby completed their senior and sophomore years, respectively, at their parents' alma mater in June.

The Veuve sisters were both starters on the Bulldogs' 2016 Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III championship softball team.

"That fact that we got to share that memory together is great," Mackenzie stated. "It really means a lot to us. When we start our own families, that's something we'll get to share with them."

Said Shelby: "It's her last year playing softball. I needed to work my hardest to try to make sure she won a section title. I'm glad it happened with me being a part of the team. It's really special."

Added Paul: "We live in Hughson but our girls go to Ceres. We love the Bulldogs. Once a Bulldog, always a Bulldog."

Mackenzie batted cleanup and played first base for Ceres High this past season.

The four-year varsity starter earned first-team all-Western Athletic Conference honors.

Mackenzie ranked first in the WAC in doubles (7), third in homers (2), fourth in slugging percentage (.813), fifth in batting average (.512), on-base percentage (.551) and RBIs (14), and seventh in runs (10).

Mackenzie batted .404 with three homers, 13 doubles, 25 RBIs and 20 runs in 28 games.
She collected 36 hits.

Mackenzie finished 6-for-7 with three doubles, three RBIs and four runs in a pair of victories against crosstown-rival Central Valley.

She homered against El Capitan, Livingston and Ripon.

Mackenzie had five hits and four RBIs in six playoff games.

"It's going to be really weird not seeing Mack out there next year," Paul said. "She's been amazing to watch."

"My last game with everybody was winning the section title," said Mackenzie, who will focus on academics at Sacramento State. "We were so close. That helped a lot. She (coach Angela Durossette) made this year super special."

Shelby, a first-year varsity player, was Ceres High's No. 9 hitter and leftfielder.

She posted a batting average of .361 with five RBIs, 12 runs and two stolen bases during the WAC season.

She finished 5-for-8 with four RBIs and four runs versus Central Valley.

Shelby totaled 21 hits in 28 games.

"Everyone on the team is really good," Shelby said. "I had to step it up and make myself better for all of them."

Shelby surprised Mackenzie with a touching speech prior to Ceres High's 9-0 shutout of visiting Pacheco on Senior Day.

"It really meant a lot to me," Mackenzie said. "She appreciates me more than I know. We love each other so much even though we fight a lot."

Born 18 months apart, Mackenzie and Shelby teamed up for the first time in softball as members of the NorCal Firecrackers 16-and-under travel team. "It was never about who was better," Paul said. "They're completely different players. Shelby is one of the most competitive kids I know. They're both competitive."

"We compete with each other in everything," Shelby said. "It's really helped me a lot."

"It was exciting to have her on my team," Mackenzie said. "We're so close in age. Everything we do is a competition. We get along most of the time."

Mackenzie and Shelby both filled key roles as Ceres High amassed a 23-5 record and claimed its third consecutive WAC title.

More importantly, the Bulldogs ended a 21-year gap between section championships.

Ceres High edged Benicia 3-2 for the Division-III crown on May 26 at the Sacramento Softball Complex.

The Veuve sisters, along with their parents, will remember the moment for the rest of their lives.

"I watch the video every day," Mackenzie said. "After we got the final out, everybody rushed the mound. Both of my parents had tears in their eyes. It meant a lot to our family. It's cool we got to experience what my dad didn't get to do."

A member of Ceres High's varsity boys basketball team for four seasons, Paul Veuve and the top-seeded/Valley Oak League co-champion Bulldogs lost 79-51 to McClatchy in the quarterfinals of the 1993-94 Sac-Joaquin Section Division-II playoffs. Ceres High, which climbed to as high as 10th in the state rankings, posted a 27-4 overall record.

"That was 20 years ago," he said. "I had a great time back then. For me personally, it's all about the girls. Any success they have, regardless of what I did, is amazing."

"Our parents go to all of our games," Shelby added. "Our dad is always giving us advice. He motivates, inspires and pushes us."