Ceres High School's varsity softball team won 5-4 at Los Banos on Wednesday to secure the Western Athletic Conference's third and final berth for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV playoffs.
The host Bulldogs closed out the WAC season on Friday with a 13-1 five-inning slaughter-rule triumph over crosstown-rival Central Valley.
Ceres High's three senior players, Laura Story, Dia Borden and Jayme Langan, were recognized before the game.
"We love our seniors so much," said Nicole Bates, one of seven underclassmen on this year's team. "We're so glad we can win for them today."
Ceres High, 17-10 on the year, placed third in the WAC standings (8-4).
The Hawks dropped to 2-9 in conference play.
Ceres High improved its all-time head-to-head record versus Central Valley to 14-0.
"We seem to have their number," Bulldogs head coach Donnie Donaldson said.
Laura (first base), Dia (center field) and Jayme (left field) all started against the Hawks.
Story batted 2-for-3 from the plate with one RBI.
Dia batted 1-for-1 with two walks and two runs.
Bates fell a homer short of hitting for the cycle. She batted 4-for-4 with one triple, one double, two singles, three RBIs and three runs.
Freshman Mahlena O'Neal batted 2-for-2 with three RBIs.
Freshman MacKenzie Veuve batted 1-for-2 with one double and two RBIs.
Freshman Kaytlin Donaldson batted 1-for-3 with one double and two RBIs.
Freshman Jessica Arreola batted 2-for-3 with one double.
Donaldson allowed four hits and struck out one while pitching a complete game.
Hawk pitcher Lexy Cordova scattered 14 hits and fanned two.
Central Valley freshman Bryana Lopez collected two singles.
Malynda Lomeli singled and scored once.
Sophomore Lindsay Alexander singled.
Ceres High scored three runs in the first inning, four in the second and six in the third.
Central Valley scored its lone run in the top of the second inning.
Sophomore Lynaya Lerma plated Lomeli with a sacrifice fly.
The Bulldogs would have faced a must-win situation last Friday if they lost to second-place Los Banos (9-3) earlier in the week.
"It did take a little pressure off," Bates said.
Ceres High qualified for the postseason for the second year in a row. The Bulldogs fell short in their bid for a second straight WAC title.
"We had aspirations to win it," Donnie Donaldson said. "Central Catholic has a more experienced team than we do. We're young. But I don't like to use that as an excuse."
Ceres High will face Sierra Valley Conference No. 3 seed, to be determined this week, in a Sac-Joaquin Section outbracket playoff game on May 13 in Ceres at 4 p.m.