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CHS, CV softball players earn all-conference recognition
Ava Montesdeoca combo
Four members of Central Valley’s softball program were rewarded during the Central California Conference's year-end head coaches' meeting, including Gabriela Delatorre and Jannet Valencia (left). Ava Montesdeoca and Alizae Cole (right) were among standouts on Ceres High’s softball team who earned WAC recognition for their outstanding play this spring. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

The softball teams of Ceres High and Central Valley high schools had a combined nine players garner all-league recognition this spring.

Mike Corsaut, the head coach of the Bulldogs, was also rewarded.

“I was really happy the girls got recognized,” Corsaut said. “I’m happy for them. They deserved what they got. They all did extremely well.”

“Honestly, I didn’t know how it was going to go,” Hawks’ leader Jimmy Bates said. “We only had four wins in league. I was really happy that the coaches recognized that we had some top-end talent.”

Alizae Cole, Isabela Giraldes, Ava Montesdeoca, Nani Sagapolu and Elizabeth Figueroa were honored for guiding Ceres High to its second straight Western Athletic Conference title.

The Bulldogs compiled a near-perfect 13-1 record. Ceres High outscored its league opponents, 178-37.

Corsaut was named WAC Coach of the Year at the conference’s year-end head coaches’ meeting on May 13 in Los Banos.

Corsaut said it was “pretty special” to be recognized in his last year coaching and said “the credit goes to the girls and my coaching staff. I enjoyed being out there with all of them.”

Cole, a junior pitcher, was voted WAC “Pitcher of the Year.”

She also earned first-team all-conference honors.

Cole compiled a 12-1 record with a 1.70 earned-run average, 86 strikeouts, nine complete games and one shutout.

She batted .556 from the plate with one home run, three triples, four doubles, 22 RBIs and 16 runs.

She ranked first on the team in triples, second in hits, home runs, doubles, RBIs, slugging percentage and on-base percentage, third in batting average and fourth in runs.

“I’m so proud of her,” Corsaut said of Cole. “All of her hard work paid off. She was one of the best players on the best team.”

Giraldes, Montesdeoca and Sagapolu were all selected to the WAC First Team.

Giraldes, a senior first baseman, batted .574 with 10 doubles, 27 RBIs and 27 runs.

She ranked first on the team in batting average, hits, doubles, RBIs and fielding percentage, second in runs, and third in slugging percentage and on-base percentage.

She committed no errors on defense in 14 games.

“Bella is so talented,” commented Corsaut. “She’s got a sweet swing. She solidified our defense.”

Giraldes did not play softball as a junior while recovering from a knee injury sustained in the playoffs as a sophomore.

“I’m so glad she played this year,” Corsaut said. “She fell back in love with the game.”

Montesdeoca, a junior shortstop, batted .571 with two home runs, two triples, three doubles, 16 RBIs, 31 runs and eight stolen bases as the Bulldogs’ leadoff hitter.

She ranked first on the team in home runs, runs, slugging percentage and on-base percentage, second in triples and stolen bases, and third in doubles and RBIs.

Montesdeoca also excelled in track and field this spring.

“She puts a lot of pressure on herself to be the best,” said Corsaut. “It’s so fun watching her play. She’s so good.”

Sagapolu, a junior third baseman, batted .447 with three doubles, 15 RBIs and 10 runs.

“She’s a solid player. She’s so coachable. She’s a team player. She came up with big hits when we needed them.”

Figueroa, a sophomore leftfielder, was named to the WAC Second Team and was “one vote away from making First Team,” the coach said.

Figueroa batted .395 with two doubles, 13 RBIs and 18 runs.

She was promoted to varsity after starring at pitcher as a freshman at the junior-varsity level.

«She has a high softball IQ. She can hit any pitcher. She does her job. She works hard. She’s a great teammate.”

Central Valley’s Jannet Valencia, Gabriela Delatorre, Brooklynn Steeley and Priscilla Hamidat were honored at the CCC’s year-end head coaches’ meeting on May 15 in Atwater.

The Hawks (4-8) finished fifth in league play. Central Valley outscored its opponents, 93-84.

Valencia and Delatorre were both named to the CCC First Team.

A four-year starter, Valencia garnered first-team all-league recognition for the second straight season.

“She was the ultimate competitor,” said Bates. “She gave everything she had every day. She played the game with joy.”

Valencia logged playing time at shortstop and pitcher.

She batted .370 from the plate with one triple, three doubles, six RBIs, 13 runs and 14 stolen bases.

She ranked first on the team in stolen bases, second in triples, doubles and runs, third in on-base percentage, fourth in slugging percentage, and fifth in RBIs.

She totaled 15 strikeouts and two saves at pitcher.

“Jannet definitely shined,” Bates said. “She set the tone defensively and offensively for us all year long. She brought energy to the program every day. She was there for her teammates. That’s going to be missed.”

Delatorre, a sophomore third baseman, earned first-team all-conference honors.

She batted .444 with three home runs, one triple, two doubles, 15 RBIs, 15 runs and eight stolen bases.

She ranked first on the team in batting average, hits, home runs, RBIs, runs, slugging percentage and on-base slugging percentage, second in triples and stolen bases, and third in doubles.

Delatorre was selected to the CCC Second Team as a freshman.

“She started hitting for power again the start of league,” Bates said. “The biggest thing is she went up to the plate with a plan. She was more disciplined.”

Steeley, a freshman pitcher, was named to the CCC Second Team.

“She competed in the circle and showed out with her bat this year,” Bates said.

Steeley compiled a 4-5 record in the circle with a 5.92 earned-run average and 21 strikeouts.

She batted .405 with one homer, six doubles, 12 RBIs and seven runs.

She ranked first on the team in doubles, and second in batting average, hits, homers, RBIs, slugging percentage and on-base percentage.

“When she connected with the ball, it was with force,” Bates said.

Hamidat, a senior outfielder, was named Central Valley’s CCC Sportsmanship Award winner.

She batted .366 with 10 RBIs and nine runs.

She ranked third on the team in hits and RBIs, fourth in batting average and on-base percentage, and fifth in runs.

Hamidat was selected to the CCC Second Team as a junior.

“She had a really good batting average in league,” Bates said. “She had a knack for getting hits in clutch situations. She was consistent.”