Ceres High School’s varsity softball program won just six games in 2018.
The Bulldogs more than tripled their victory total from a season ago this year by compiling a 19-6 overall record.
Ceres High also qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III playoffs and claimed the Western Athletic Conference championship with a near-perfect 13-1 mark.
The Bulldogs went 6-10 and struggled to a fourth-place finish in the WAC (5-5) a year ago.
“We met our expectations. We wanted to win league and make playoffs. This team is pretty special. All of the girls were easy to coach.”Coach Mike Corsaut
“We met our expectations,” said Mike Corsaut, who came out of retirement to coach at Ceres High again. “We wanted to win league and make playoffs. This team is pretty special. All of the girls were easy to coach.”
Eighth-seeded Ceres High closed out the 2019 season with a 14-13 loss to ninth-seeded Wood on May 13 in Ceres.
“I’m really proud of the girls,” Corsaut said. “They didn’t give up. They battled back.”
The Bulldogs erased an 8-0 deficit in the bottom of the third inning and grabbed a 13-10 lead in the fifth before succumbing to Wood.
Ceres High allowed four runs in the top of the sixth inning.
The Bulldogs and Wildcats battled to a 10-10 tie through four innings.
The two teams combined for 27 hits, including 13 by the Bulldogs.
Vianney Perez hit a grand slam, Brooklyn Heffernan belted a 3-run homer and Megan Yorba added an RBI single as Ceres High rallied by scoring eight runs in the third inning.
Cheralyn Durossette batted 1-for-4 from the plate with a homer and two RBIs during the game.
Joslin Knight batted 1-for-2 with two runs and two walks.
Shania Evans batted 1-for-3 with two runs and two walks.
Rebecca DeLeon batted 1-for-3 with two runs and one walk.
Gabrielle Ramirez batted 1-for-3 with one double and one RBI.
“I knew we’d get to their pitching,” Corsaut said. “We finally started hitting the ball.”
Wood earned the right to play top-seeded Oakdale in the quarterfinals.
“Our girls really wanted to play Oakdale but it wasn’t in the cards,” Corsaut said. “They wanted to see how good they were.”
Ceres High could return as many as 12 players from this year’s team in 2020, including Perez, Heffernan, Yorba, Durossette, DeLeon, Knight, Ramirez, Isabel Vizcaino, Lysaida Munoz and Angelique Cochran.
Evans and Priscilla Chavez will be lost to graduation.
“I’m sad for the seniors,” Corsaut said. “They’ll be missed. But at the same time the future looks bright.”