Central Valley High School's varsity softball team avenged a pair of losses this past week by beating Patterson and Los Banos.
The Hawks improved to 8-6 on the year and 4-4 in the Western Athletic Conference standings.
Central Valley posted a 3-9 record in 2013.
"We're right in the middle of the playoff hunt," Hawks head coach Kristen Ghimenti said. "The girls are excited. They should be. They work hard. They play together as a team. They're starting to believe in themselves."
Central Valley shut out host Patterson 2-0 on Friday.
Lexy Cordova pitched a two-hitter for the Hawks.
She struck out one and walked two over seven innings.
"All of her pitches were working and she got help from her defense," Ghimenti said.
Cordova batted 1-for-3 from the plate.
Freshman Gaby Bonales batted 1-for-3 with two RBIs.
Sarah McElroy batted 1-for-2 with one run.
Nicholette Mendez scored once.
Lindsey Alexander singled.
The Hawks tallied both of their runs with two down in the top of the sixth inning.
McElroy and Mendez scored when Patterson's shortstop tried to backhand Bonales' hard-hit grounder. The ball deflected off her glove and rolled into the outfield.
Visiting Central Valley posted a 4-2 win over Los Banos on Wednesday.
Cordova allowed two runs and scattered five hits over seven innings.
Lexy singled twice.
McElroy batted 3-for-4 with one triple, two RBIs, one run and one stolen base.
Alexander batted 1-for-4 with one RBI.
Alyssa Costa scored a pair of runs.
Lynaya Lerma tallied one run.
The Hawks broke a 2-2 tie in the top of the fourth inning.
Central Valley lost 10-0 to Central Catholic on April 4 and 13-1 to Ceres High on April 2.
Cordova and the Hawks struggled.
Central Valley opened the second half of WAC play with back-to-back wins.
"Lexy didn't dwell on the previous week," Ghimenti said. "The whole team responded."
Central Valley fielded its first-ever varsity softball team in 2007. The Hawks have never qualified for the playoffs.
The Hawks will play against host Livingston (0-8) today at 4 p.m.
"It's well known that Central Valley has never had a winning softball team," Ghimenti said. "It's exciting to have a chance at playoffs this year. My girls are very competitive. They want to win. They want to give their school something to be proud of."