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Dawgs collect another big win over Hawks
Ceres High School's varsity softball team breezed to a 10-0 victory over crosstown rival Central Valley on Friday in a Valley Oak League home game that was stopped after five innings due to the mercy rule.

The Bulldogs have never lost to the Hawks in eight meetings.

"I've played and took lessons with most of their girls," Ceres High leadoff hitter Ryan Norton said. "It feels good to beat them. It (the win) puts us that much closer to playoffs."

The Bulldogs haven't missed the playoffs in 24 years.

The top three teams in the VOL will participate.

Oakdale (10-1), East Union (9-2) and Ceres High (8-3) sat in first, second and third, respectively, in the standings as of Monday. Sierra (6-5) and Sonora (5-6) are still mathematically alive.

"We know the streak is going to end one of these years," Bulldogs head coach Donnie Donaldson said. "These girls want to continue it."

Ceres High had 16 hits during its five-inning blowout of Central Valley (1-10).

Jode Johnson batted 3-for-3 with a home run and three RBIs.

Kaycee Creek also collected three hits and drove in three runs.

Ryan Norton had a pair of singles and one RBI.

Taiylor Sakurada, Cierra Hammons and Erica all singled and knocked in one run.

Creek, Ceres High's star pitcher, notched her 10th win of the year. The right-handed sophomore gave up two hits with four strikeouts and three walks in five inning.

Central Valley's Molly Littmann and Breonna Bejaran both singled.

The Bulldogs overwhelmed the Hawks from the outset.

Norton led off the game with single to left. moved all the way to third when the ball rolled between the legs of Central Valley's outfielder and scored on Sakurada's groundout. Johnson lined a double to right field and raced home on Creek's single. Hammons followed with an RBI single up the middle. Reyes also had a run-scoring hit.

Johnson launched a solo homer over the right-center field fence in the bottom of the second inning.

Reyes, Alison Ghimenti and Sakurada all singled with one out in the bottom of the third inning. Erica and Alison both scored when Jode doubled off the left-center field fence. Kaycee cleared the bases with a two-run single.

Central Valley almost scored in the top half of the inning. Norton threw a runner out at home plate. Hammons, Ceres High's catcher, applied the tag.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Norton singled, moved to third when Sakurada reached base on a throwing error to first, and scored on a wild pitch to end the game.

"We hit the ball hard," Donaldson said. "We got to continue doing that next week."

Ceres High will play Sonora, Lathrop and Weston Ranch this week.

"It's a lot of pressure knowing we have to win three of our last five games to make it (playoffs)," Norton said. "I don't want to be on the team that loses it."

Added Donaldson: "They know what's at stake."