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CV secures first victory versus CHS in softball
Bill Evans Memorial Scholarship file
The Bill Evans Memorial Scholarship/Ceres High School Softball Tournament will be staged this week at Costa Fields. Evans, pictured with daughter Shania, passed away in June of 2020. Evans coached softball in the area for more than 40 years. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

Central Valley’s softball team accomplished a first in program history by beating crosstown-rival Ceres High last week.

The Hawks opened the 2024 season with a 9-8 home win over the Bulldogs on Friday

Central Valley improved its head-to-head record versus Ceres High to 1-28.

The two teams faced off for the first time in 2007.

“It was such a cool moment to be a part of,” Hawks’ second-year head coach Jimmy Bates said. “With the girls being so young, they didn’t know what they did.”

“It’s been a great run,” Bulldogs’ leader Mike Corsaut said. “I knew eventually it would happen. All great things come to an end. I tip my hat to them.”

Central Valley and Ceres High combined for 25 hits on offense.

The Hawks collected 12 hits.

Freshman Reylena Herrera batted 3-for-4 from the plate with one double, three RBIs and one run.

Sophomore Gabriela Delatorre batted 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs.

Freshman Valerie Espinoza batted 2-for-4 with two runs.

Freshman Brooklyn Steeley batted 1-for-3 with two runs.

Sophomore Payton McConnell batted 1-for-4 with one RBI and one run.

Priscilla Hamidat batted 2-for-4 with one RBI.

Sophomore Abigail Krauss batted 1-for-3.

The Bulldogs totaled 13 hits.

Sophomore Elizabeth Figueroa batted 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs.

Illianna Saldana batted 2-for-4 with two RBIs.

Ava Montesdeoca batted 2-for-4 with two runs.

Kylie Bond batted 1-for-4 with one double, one RBI and one run.

Alizae Cole batted 1-for-4 with two RBIs.

Nani Sagapolu batted 2-for-3 with one run.

Calista Mann and sophomore Makaela Brown both scored once.

Tatiana Ortiz, sophomore Gabriela Ortiz and sophomore Amaia Pritchett all singled.

Steeley was the winning pitcher.

She allowed eight runs—six earned—and 14 hits with two strikeouts and three walks in seven innings.

Cole gave up nine runs—two earned—and 11 hits with two strikeouts and one walk while starting at pitcher for the Bulldogs.

Ceres High contributed to its own downfall by committing seven errors on defense.

Down 8-5, Central Valley tallied four unearned runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to secure the victory.

“It made me proud to be the coach of those young women,” Bates said. “For them to be that composed is really impressive. Pure competitiveness. We put the ball in play and put pressure on them.”

Herrera accounted for the winning run when she scored from third base on a passed ball.

She was mobbed by Hawk teammates and coaches at home plate.

“It was a really awesome moment for our team,” Bates said.

Corsaut congratulated Bates after the rivalry game.

“We shook hands and shared a hug,” Bates said. “He congratulated me for the moment. It was really nice of him to do that.”

“We hung out and talked,” Corsaut said. “I congratulated him. It’s a great win for them. I root for CV accept for when they play CHS.”

The Hawks and Bulldogs were supposed to play at Ceres High last week but the game was moved to Central Valley due to unplayable field conditions.

“That’s the first time this year we’ve had our team on a field,” Corsaut said. “Whenever it rains, our field floods.”

Tourney time

Weather permitting, the Third Annual Bill Evans Memorial Scholarship/Ceres High School Softball Tournament will be staged this week at the George Costa Ball Field Complex.

CHS doled out two $1,500 scholarships in Evans’ honor last school year.

Evans, who dedicated more than 40 years of his life to coaching college, high school and travel softball in the Stanislaus District, passed away at the age of 63 in June of 2020.

“When Bill passed, I knew I wanted to honor his memory,” Bulldogs’ leader Mike Corsaut said. “He was a Ceres High School coach. His daughter Shania played for me. He meant so much.”

Approximately 15 teams will compete at Costa Fields, including Ceres High, Central Valley, Chavez, Atwater, Beyer, Gregori, Gustine, Hughson, Lincoln of Stockton, Lodi, Oakdale, Orestimba, Pacheco, Riverbank and Tracy.

“A lot of the teams were in the playoffs last year,” Corsaut said.

The field will be split up into three pools of five teams.

Ceres High, Atwater, Lincoln, Oakdale and Tracy will make up the Red Pool.

Central Valley, Beyer, Hughson, Lodi and Riverbank will make up the White Pool.

Chavez, Gregori, Gustine, Orestimba and Pacheco will make up the Black Pool.

Games will be played today through Saturday.

Ceres High will play Tracy (3:45 p.m.) and Atwater (7:15 p.m.) on Wednesday. The Bulldogs will face Lincoln (9:45 a.m.) and Chavez (11:30 a.m.) on Saturday.

Central Valley will play Hughson (3:45 p.m.) and Orestimba (7:15 p.m.) on Friday. The Hawks will face Beyer (9:45 a.m.) and Tracy (3:15 p.m.) on Saturday.

The Bill Evans Memorial Scholarship/Ceres High School Softball Tournament was cut short last season due to wet weather.