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CHS softball secures second seed for playoffs
Bulldogs edge Tigers via tiebreaker
Sabrina Baisdon and Ceres Highs softball team will face Union Mine in the first round of the Division-IV playoffs. - photo by Dale Butler

Ceres High School varsity softball head coach Donnie Donaldson received a text message from Western Athletic Conference Commissioner Charlie Pikus on May 7.

Donaldson couldn't believe what he read.

Livingston upset Los Banos, 5-2.

The loss moved the Bulldogs into a second-place tie with the Tigers in the WAC standings (8-4).

Ceres High and Los Banos battled for the conference's No. 2 playoff seed last week.

The Bulldogs collected 10 hits and overcame four errors en route to a 15-7 win over the host Tigers on Wednesday.

Ceres High earned the right to face Sierra Valley Conference champion Union Mine today in the opening round of the Division-IV postseason tournament.

Los Banos hosted SVC No. 3 seed Liberty Ranch in an out-bracket playoff game on Monday. The winner will take on Valley Oak League No. 1 seed Sierra in the first round.

"We don't have to go through Sierra right away," Donaldson said. "That's the team to beat in our section."

Ceres High and Los Banos split during the WAC regular season.

"We played a perfect game today after the first three innings," Donaldson said. "We didn't make any mistakes. Everybody stepped up. We're peaking at the right time. Our batting averages have soared the last four games. We're putting the bat on the ball."

The Bulldogs used two different pitchers during the tiebreaker game.

Freshman MacKenzie Veuve allowed four hits and no runs with no strikeouts and no walks over 52/3 innings.

Freshman Kaytlin Donaldson gave up no earned runs, surrendered three hits, struck out one and walked three in 11/3 innings.

Veuve batted 3-for-4 with one homer, one double, one run and four RBIs.

Sabrina Baisdon batted 3-for-4 with one double, two RBIs and three runs.

Nicole Bates batted 3-for-4 with one triple, one double and three runs.

Mahlena O'Neal batted 2-for-4 with one homer, one RBI and one run.

Donaldson batted 1-for-4 with two RBIs.

Laura Story batted 1-for-4 with two RBIs.

Jayme Langan scored twice.

Mikayla Whatley added one run.

Jessica Arreola and Ali Lowman both singled.

Veuve hit a 2-run homer and O'Neal added a solo shot as the Bulldogs built a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the first inning.

Tied at 3-all, Ceres High scored three runs in the fifth inning and four in the sixth.

"It was fun to watch," Donnie Donaldson said. "We're on a hot streak right now. I hope it continues in the playoffs."

The Bulldogs' first-round playoff game will be played at Arnaiz Softball Complex in Stockton this Wednesday at 5 p.m.

Ceres High has won five of its last six games.

"The year Ceres High won sections, we were the No. 3 seed," coach Donaldson said. "Anything can happen. We're excited to just make the playoffs. We're going to have to score some runs. We have a young pitching staff. I have no idea how we're going to respond. It's hard to say because we're so young. They do know how to win."