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CHS softball ties for first in conference play, qualifies for section playoffs
Haylee Mann, Tatum George, Sehren Martinez, Natalie Gomes and Emma Johnson
Ceres High senior softball players Haylee Mann, Tatum George, Sehren Martinez, Natalie Gomes and Emma Johnson played at home for the final time last week. The Bulldogs secured a share of the Western Athletic Conference title with a 6-5 victory over the Los Banos Tigers on May 10. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

Ceres High’s softball team topped Los Banos and Grace Davis during the final week of the regular season.

The Bulldogs claimed a share of the Western Athletic Conference title with a 6-5 win against the visiting Los Banos Tigers on Senior Day last Wednesday.

“It’s a big win for the girls,” said Coach Mike Corsaut. “They’re so excited.”

Ceres High, Los Banos and Mountain House compiled identical 11-3 records while finishing in a three-way tie for first place atop the WAC standing.

The Bulldogs improved to 15-7 overall and were awarded the No. 14 seed for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-II playoffs.

“I’m really proud of the girls. They battled all year long even in our losses. They never gave up. They supported each other.”

Ceres High won one of two games versus WAC-rival Los Banos this spring.

The Tigers topped the Bulldogs 8-2 on March 30 in Los Banos.

Ceres High beat Los Banos during the rematch despite squandering a four-run lead.

Tied at 5-5, Ceres High freshman utility player Bella Bravo collected the game-winning hit in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Bravo’s walk-off single between shortstop and third base scored Sehren Martinez, who led off the inning with a double.

“I’m so proud of Bella. The first pitch she saw, she crushed it. We were just hoping for a fly ball in that situation.”

Kylie Bond and Alize Cole logged playing time at pitcher.

Cole (6-5) picked up the victory in relief.

She gave up one unearned run and one hit with two strikeouts and no walks in one inning.

Bond started and earned a no-decision.

She allowed one earned run and five hits with two strikeouts and three walks in six innings.

“Both pitchers have done a great job all year. They’ve battled.”

Martinez batted 4-for-4 from the plate with three doubles, two RBIs and two runs.

Cole batted 1-for-3 with one RBI and one run.

Nani Sagapolu batted 2-for-3 with one double and one RBI.

Ilianna Saldana batted 1-for-3 with one triple and one run.

Martinez, Natalie Gomes, Emma Johnson, Tatum George and Haylee Mann, Ceres High’s five seniors, competed on their home field for the final time this past week.

“It was fun for us to be able to honor them. It was great for them to be able to go out as league champs. They love playing the game and have fun doing it.”

Ceres High dominated from start to finish in defeated Grace Davis 35-2 in five innings on May 9 in Modesto.

“I’m never going to tell the girls to not compete,” said Corsaut, whose team edged the Spartans by just three runs earlier this season. “I put all my subs in at the end of the second inning.”

The Bulldogs scored 14 runs in the top of the first inning and eight in the second during the rematch.

Ceres High hit six home runs during the game.

Ava Montesdeoca batted 4-for-6 from the plate with three homers, one triple, eight RBIs and five runs.

Cole batted 5-for-5 from the plate with two homers, four RBIs and six runs.

Martinez batted 4-for-6 with one triple, three RBIs and four runs.

Maddie Schultz batted 2-for-3 with one double, four RBIs and two runs.

Gomes batted 2-for-3 with one homer, three RBIs and two runs.

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

Sagapolu batted 2-for-3 with one RBI and three runs.

Ceres High will face third-seeded St. Mary’s of Stockton (15-6-3) in the opening round of the Division-II playoffs.