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CHS softball ladies qualify for playoffs; in hunt for WAC championship
Ceres Bulldogs vying for second straight league title
Nicole Bates (22), Sabrina Baisdon and Ceres Highs varsity softball team will face Central Valley and Pacheco in Western Athletic Conference play this week. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Ceres High School's varsity softball team remained in the hunt for the Western Athletic Conference title and qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs this past week.

"I'll be surprised if we don't win it (the WAC crown) again," Bulldogs head coach Angela Durossette said. "I anticipate us going deep in the playoffs."

Ceres High exacted revenge with a 7-2 victory against host Los Banos on Thursday.

The Tigers rallied for a 6-4 win over the Bulldogs earlier this season.

"We shouldn't have lost to them the first time," Durossette said. "We had a bad sixth inning and couldn't take it back."

Ceres High's Rayohna Sagapolu improved her pitching record to a perfect 8-0.

Sagapolu allowed two runs and seven hits with eight strikeouts and two walks over seven innings.

"Ray pitched really well," Durossette said. "She got herself out of a couple of jams."

Ceres High collected 11 hits on offense.

Sagapolu batted 3-for-4 from the plate with one homer, two RBIs and one run.

Jessica Arreola batted 2-for-3 with three RBIs.

Callie Nunes batted 1-for-3 with one RBI and two runs.

Andrea Duran batted 1-for-2 with one RBI and one run.

Ariel Knights batted 2-for-3 with one triple and two runs.

Nicole Bates batted 1-for-4 with one run.

Mahlena O'Neal batted 1-for-4.

Ceres High tallied two runs in both the first and second innings, and three in the third.

Sagapolu hit a two-run homer in the opening stanza.

The Bulldogs led 7-1 heading into the bottom of the third inning.

"It was a big game for us," Durossette said. "I was pretty confident we'd be able to beat them. We outplayed them."

Ceres High crushed El Capitan 22-0 on April 21 in Merced.

The Bulldogs piled up 16 hits and committed no errors.

Mackenzie Veuve batted 3-for-3 with two homers, five RBIs and four runs.

Sagapolu batted 3-for-5 with three RBIs and three runs.

Bates batted 2-for-5 with one double, two RBIs and two runs.

O'Neal batted 1-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs.

Nunes batted 2-for-3 with one double, one RBI and two runs.

Arreola batted 1-for-2 with one RBI and two runs.

Sabrina Baisdon batted 1-for-4 with two runs.

Savannah Beltran batted 1-for-1 with one RBI and one run.

Ariel Knights batted 1-for-3 with one RBI and one run.

Adryana Knights and Ali Lowman both batted 1-for-1 with one run.

Duran tallied one run.

The Bulldogs scored eight runs in the top of the second inning, four in the third, eight in the fourth and two in the fifth.

"Everybody got an at-bat," Durossette said. "We hit their starting pitcher really well. It's been fun scoring a lot of runs."

Nunes earned her ninth win as a pitcher.

She had six strikeouts in three innings.

Callie gave up no runs and no hits.

Lowman surrendered one hit and fanned one in two innings of relief.

Ceres High will host Central Valley and play at Pacheco this week.

Ceres High will in all likelihood need to beat Gia Rodoni and Pacheco on Thursday in Los Banos to win the WAC title outright.

First-place Ceres High (19-6) and Pacheco (12-13) had identical 9-1 conference records as of Monday.

Ceres High defeated Pacheco 8-1 at home on March 31.

"The girls are looking forward to facing Gia," Durossette said. "We do well against good pitching."