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Dawgs, Hawks showcase skills in Livingston
Ava Montesdeoca and Alizae Cole
Mike Corsaut coached several of his Ceres High softball players for the final time last month. Ava Montesdeoca and Alizae Cole were both awarded $500 scholarships at the Leonardo Family Memorial Scholarship All-Star Game. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

The Leonardo Family Memorial Scholarship Softball All-Star Game was held this past month at Livingston High School.

All-league talent representing teams from the Western Athletic Conference, Central California Conference and Trans-Valley League battled on June 11.

Ceres High standouts Ava Montesdeoca, Alizae Cole and Elizabeth Figueroa all contributed as the WAC won both of its games en route to a first-place finish at the three-team event.

“It shows the quality of our league,” said Bulldogs’ leader/WAC coach Mike Corsaut. “The girls did a fantastic job.”

Montesdeoca, Cole, Figueroa and the WAC earned a hard-fought 1-0 win over Central Valley High School standouts Jannet Valencia, Gabriela Delatorre, Brooklynn Steeley and the CCC in the championship game.

“The most enjoyable part was getting to play with the girls in our league, and creating new memories and friendships,” Montesdeoca stated. “My most favorite part was earning a scholarship, along with my teammate Alizae Cole.”

Montesdeoca, a junior, drove in the game-winning run as Los Banos’ Moxie Barton scored from third base on her hard-hit grounder to second.

“I was expecting Ava to hit,” Corsaut said. “That’s what she does. She competes.”

Montesdeoca logged playing time at shortstop during the game.

“She played such great defense,” Corsaut said.

Cole, a junior, allowed no hits with six strikeouts while pitching three innings of relief en route to earning the save.

“Alizae did a phenomenal job,” Corsaut said.

Figueroa, a sophomore, logged playing time in left field.

“She got an opportunity to play in the game,” Corsaut said. “That was awesome.”

The WAC posted a 6-3 victory against the TVL.

“Watching the girls compete at a high level was fun,” Corsaut said. “You don’t have to do much coaching. Their softball IQs are so high.”

The WAC won both games thanks in large part to energy and positivity according to Montesdeoca.

“We didn’t give up,” she said. “We would cheer for each other both on the field and in the dugout, picked each other up, and most importantly we were having fun.”

Corsaut, Montesdeoca, Cole and Figueroa all teamed up for the final time.

Bulldog teammates Isabela Giraldes (Sr.) and Nani Sagapolu (Jr.) missed the All-Star Game due to previous commitments.

“It was fun being able to coach Ava, Alizae and Elizabeth one last time,” said Corsaut, who stepped down as head coach of Ceres High’s softball program following the 2024 season to spend more time with his family. “They did really well. It was exciting to see them do that.”

“He wanted us to have fun and that’s exactly what we did,” Montesdeoca added.

The Leonardo Family awarded $500 scholarships to eight players, including Montesdeoca and Cole.

“That was cool to see,” Corsaut said.

Valencia, Delatorre, Steeley and the CCC compiled a 1-1 record at the Leonardo Family Memorial Scholarship All-Star Game.

The CCC eked out a 3-2 win while battling the TVL in the semifinals.

“There really wasn’t any pressure on the girls,” Central Valley head coach Jimmy Bates said. “They were out there to have a good time.”

Valencia started at shortstop versus the TVL.

The four-year varsity player competed at the prep level for the final time last month.

“I’m glad she got one last opportunity to put on a CV uniform and perform,” Bates said. “I was happy to see her with a smile on her face. She was definitely the leader of our program. That’s hard to replace.”

Delatorre, a sophomore, started at third base against the TVL.

“She really evolved as a player throughout the year,” Bates said. 

A designator hitter on offense, Steeley also logged playing time at third base and pitcher.

Steeley is just a freshman.

“It’s pretty impressive,” Bates said. “She’s young. She doesn’t carry herself that way. There’s no moment that’s too big for her. She’s the same person no matter what. She’s even-keeled.”

WAC, CCC and TVL All-Star rosters were made up of players that earned all-league honors during their respective high-school seasons.