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CHS teammates unite on diamond for last time
Ceres Highs softball program had six players compete at the Paul Leonardo Memorial All-Star Softball Game on Wednesday in Livingston. Sabrina Baisdon (pictured left), Jessica Arreola, Nicole Bates, Mahlena ONeal, Mackenzie Veuve and Rayohna Sagapolu teamed up for the final time. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Jessica Arreola, Nicole Bates, Sabrina Baisdon, Mahlena O'Neal and Mackenzie Veuve teamed up for the final time this past week at the Second Annual Paul Leonardo Memorial Western Athletic Conference vs. Central California Conference All-Star Softball Game.

The 2016 Ceres High grads suited up for the WAC team, which lost 5-2 to the CCC on Wednesday at Livingston High School.

"It's our last time playing together," Baisdon said. "I'm definitely going to miss the girls. They've been my friends forever. I'm going to keep in touch with them."

The WAC's defensive lineup in the last inning was loaded with Bulldogs players.

Arreola, Baisdon, Bates, O'Neal, Veuve and Ceres High senior-to-be Rayohna Sagapolu played second base, right field, shortstop, catcher, first base and third base, respectively.

"It was really awesome coach (Charlie Pikas of Pacheco High School) allowed all of the Ceres girls to play together in the last inning," Baisdon said.

"I wasn't expecting it," Arreola added.

Arreola, who had just one plate appearance during the game, drew a walk.

Baisdon batted 0-for-2.

Bates, O'Neal and Veuve were also hitless in two at-bats.

Sagapolu finished 2-for-2 with a triple, one RBI and one run during the WAC vs. CCC showcase game. She contributed at third base on defense.

Rayohna was named one of the game's MVPs.

"Getting to play with and compete against some of the best players was fun," said Sagapolu, who collected the winning hit in the WAC's 7-6 win over the CCC in 2015. "It didn't feel like a game. We were talking and joking around in the dugout."

The WAC roster consisted of players from Ceres High, Central Valley, Livingston, Patterson, Pacheco, Los Banos and El Capitan.

Hawk junior-to-be Nayeli Pelayo earned an invitation to the all-star game for the second year in a row.

Nayeli contributed at catcher.

"Playing with all of these girls that are pretty good is cool," she said. "I enjoyed being a part of it. I'm the only one here from Central Valley."

Arreola, Baisdon, Bates, O'Neal and Veuve graduated from Ceres High on June 2.

Jessica, Sabrina, Nicole, Mahlena, Mackenzie, Rayohna and senior-to-be star pitcher Callie Nunes guided Ceres High to its second Sac-Joaquin Section title in program history this past spring. The Bulldogs posted a 23-5 overall record and captured their third consecutive WAC championship.

O'Neal, Bates, Baisdon and Veuve led the Bulldogs to 85 victories, one section championship, three WAC titles and four playoff appearances from 2013-16.

Arreola, who was promoted from junior varsity midway through her freshman year, filled a key role as well.

"It's kind of hard seeing them leave," Sagapolu said. "We're going to miss them."

Added Pelayo: "They're really good players."