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Bulldogs improve to 9-0 in WAC standings
CHS wins twice by 10-run mercy rule
Ceres Highs Mackenzie Veuve singled and scored once against visiting El Capitan on Thursday. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Ceres High School's varsity softball team continued its run of dominance against Western Athletic Conference competition last week.

Winners of the last two WAC titles, the first-place Bulldogs improved to 16-3 overall and 9-0 in the conference standings with a 12-1 five-inning mercy-rule victory over El Capitan on Thursday in Ceres.

The contest lasted 80 minutes.

"I know the girls wish our games would be more competitive," Ceres High head coach Angela Durossette said. "For them, it can be kind of boring not having a lot of action on the field."

Bulldog catcher Mahlena O'Neal hit her 21st career home run against the Gauchos.

She batted 2-for-2 from the plate with one homer, one double, three RBIs and one run.

O'Neal leads the WAC in batting average (.647), hits (22), homers (7), RBIs (27), slugging percentage (1.411) and on-base percentage (.667).

"She's in the running for league MVP," Durossette said. "She's been very consistent all season. She's a smart hitter. She's strong. She's great behind the plate. She's very focused."

Callie Nunes battled 2-for-2 with one double, four RBIs and one stolen base.
Mackenzie Veuve batted 1-for-2 with one run and one stolen base.

Andrea Duran scored three times.

Nicole Bates chipped in with two runs and one stolen base.

Sabrina Baisdon, Rayohna Sagapolu and Shelby Veuve all scored one run.

Ceres High totaled five hits.

The Bulldogs plated four runs in the bottom of the first inning, three in the second, two in the third and three in the fourth.

The Gauchos tallied their lone run in the top of the fourth inning.

El Capitan rested its ace pitcher.

"The girls were disappointed," Durossette said. "They wanted to face her (Cassie Gasper). She's the second-best pitcher in league. That would help prepare us for playoffs."

Nunes, the WAC's top pitcher, improved her overall record to 13-1.

She's won all eight of her starts in conference play.

Callie had seven strikeouts and one walk against the Gauchos.

She allowed one run and two hits.

The Bulldogs are closing in on their third straight WAC championship.

"That's our goal," said Durossette, whose team extended its unbeaten streak to 14 games. "Everyone knew we'd be the top team in the league. We try not to embarrass anybody. That's the hard part."

Visiting Ceres High will face crosstown-rival Central Valley this Thursday at 4 p.m.

The Bulldogs have a perfect 19-0 head-to-head record versus the Hawks.