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Different year, same result
Ceres High School has never lost to Central Valley in varsity softball.

The Bulldogs beat the Hawks for the 11th straight time last week.

Host Ceres High won the Western Athletic Conference crosstown showdown 9-0 on Tuesday, March 20.

"It feels pretty good to be on the winning side," Ceres High senior Kaycee Creek said.

"Every streak has to end eventually," Central Valley junior Malynda Lomeli stated. "There's more pressure on us because we've never won."

Creek, who has a 7-0 mark as pitcher against the Hawks, allowed three hits, struck out six and walked one in five innings during last week's meeting.

Ceres High freshman Ali Lowman gave up three hits with one strikeout and no walks in two innings of relief.

"Kaycee's throwing extremely well," Bulldogs head coach Donnie Donaldson said. "She's a lot more accurate now."

"I don't have as much pressure on me because I've already signed," said Creek, who recently committed to play softball at Newbury College in Brookline, MA.

Creek batted 2-for-4 from the plate with one double, one stolen base and one run scored versus Central Valley.

Christin Ornells doubled, knocked in two runs and scored twice.

Jessica Ellsworth (two singles, two runs), Cierra Hammons (double, single, two runs), Alexis Cummings (double, single, RBI), Dia Borden (single, stolen base, run) and Kassandra Carrillo (single, run) contributed as well.

Central Valley collected six hits.

Freshman Lindsey Alexander had two singles.

Lomeli, Sarah McElroy, Katie Carpenter and freshman Lynaya Lerma all singled once.

The Hawks stranded seven runners on base.

"We just didn't capitalize," Central Valley first-year head coach and former Bulldog star Kristen Ghimenti said. "We have to start doing the little things right."

Ceres High tallied five runs in the top of the second inning, three in the fifth and one in the sixth. Central Valley pitchers Lexy Cordova (five innings) and Sarah McElroy (one inning) tallied no strikeouts.

"I expected us to at least score and not get shut out," Lomeli said. "We just didn't hit today. Our defense wasn't too bad. We need to work harder at practice."

"Even though Central Valley is really young, they're going to get better," Donaldson said. "I wouldn't be surprised if she (Ghimenti) turned the program around right away. She's a high, goal-setter."

Ghimenti played for Donaldson as a senior and was an assistant on his staff last season.

"She was my pitching coach last year," Creek said. "I wish she was still with us."

"I will always be connected to Ceres High," Ghimenti said. "But Central Valley is where I'm at now and I'm happy there."

The Bulldogs (8-3, 2-0) notched their seventh straight victory.

The Hawks (2-7, 0-2) remained winless in conference play.

The crosstown rematch will be staged at Central Valley on April 20.

"The freshman class coming in next year is really good so I don't know," Creek said when asked if Ceres High would ever lose to Central Valley in softball.