The Central Valley High School softball team’s historic season came to an end this past week.
The 10th-seeded Hawks lost 8-3 to seventh-seeded Tracy in the opening round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-I Playoffs on May 16 at the Tracy Sports Complex.
“That game doesn’t take away from what these girls have accomplished this year,” Central Valley first-year head coach Jimmy Bates said. “We accomplished a bunch of things that have never been done.”
“We were all super nervous,” Hawks’ senior pitcher Janessa Godinez stated. “It was the first time for all of us being there (playoffs). We really tried our best to push through. We know we could have done better. I’m still proud of this team.
The Hawks enjoyed their most successful season to date this spring.
Central Valley compiled a program-best 19-4 overall record.
The Hawks claimed their first-ever league title. Central Valley won the Central California Conference championship outright with a near-perfect 11-1 record.
The Hawks also participated in the playoffs for the first time.
Tri-City Athletic League co-champion Tracy (18-10, 12-3) lost 5-2 to second-seeded Granite Bay in the quarterfinals on May 18.
“We reached our goal this season of making it to playoffs,” Godinez said. “We deserved to be there. We realized what we had after our first few league games. We had something special. We all played for each other this season. We always had each other’s backs.”
Tracy snapped Central Valley’s seven-game unbeaten streak.
“It’s the first time the girls have experienced playoffs,” Bates said. “They felt the pressure.”
The Hawks never recovered after allowing five unearned runs on three errors in the bottom of the first inning.
“Defensively, we made some uncharacteristic plays,” Bates said. “Unfortunately, it put us in a pretty big hole. The girls were a little nervous. Tracy is used to that type of pressure. If you take that first inning out, it would have been 3-3. We settled down and played fundamentally sound softball against one of the top teams in the area.”
“It was hard to come back from that,” Godinez said. “We just needed to start off stronger sooner. We could have competed better and possibly beat them if we played at our top level.”
Central Valley standout pitcher Janessa Godinez (17-3) gave up six earned runs and seven hits with two strikeouts and four walks in seven innings.
The Hawks collected 11 hits in defeat.
Senior Micaela Martinez batted 3-for-4 from the plate with one RBI and one run.
Freshman Gabriela Delatorre batted 2-for-4 with one double and one run.
Freshman Payton McConnell batted 1-for-2 with one RBI.
Senior Jannet Valencia batted 1-for-4 with one run.
Senior Victoria Lloyd batted 2-for-4.
Godinez and senior Allie Peterman both singled.
“Outside of the first inning, we had one runner on base every inning,” Bates said.
Central Valley will face a rebuilding year next spring as five players will be lost to graduation, including Godinez, Martinez, Lloyd, Peterman and Soriah Corona.
“They set a selfless tone for the rest of the group,” Bates said. “They’re the first ones to win a league championship for Central Valley. That’s the legacy they’re going to leave behind.”