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Hawks place third in softball
Omar Lepe
Central Valley boys tennis player Omar Lepe advanced to the quarterfinals of the WAC Singles Tournament on May 17 in Ceres.

Central Valley fielded its inaugural softball team during the 2006-07 school year.

The Hawks made history this season by compiling a winning record in league play for the first time.

Central Valley placed third in the Western Athletic Conference South Division standings with an 8-7 mark.

“I’m very proud of how we finished compared to other years,” said Sammy Espinoza, a four-year varsity starter with the Hawks. “We improved so much because of our overall talent. We had a lot of fun.”

“It’s a big accomplishment for us,” Central Valley sophomore standout Janessa Godinez added. “We had a really successful season. I think we shocked everybody this year.”

The Hawks wrapped up the 2021 campaign on May 24 in Ceres.

Host Central Valley won one of two games against fourth-place Pacheco on Senior Day.

Espinoza, Isabella Pelayo, Gabby Benenati and Dottie Frings played at home for the final time.

“It really hit me hard after we had our last team meeting when the (final) game was over,” Espinoza said. 

“It’s going to be hard to find people to fill their positions,” Godinez stated. “They were big role models for the underclassmen. They were the leaders on the team.”

The Hawks won the first game, 12-8.

Central Valley dropped its season finale by just one run, 17-16.

Espinoza batted 2-for-7 from the plate with one homer, two RBIs and three runs during the doubleheader.

Godinez batted 1-for-6 with one RBI, three runs and four walks.

Pelayo batted 2-for-6 with three runs.

Benenati batted 5-for-6 with one double, two RBIs and seven runs.

Frings collected one RBI and one run.

Sophomore Victoria Lloyd batted 6-for-8 with one homer, one double, six RBIs and three runs.

Sophomore Allie Peterman batted 5-for-9 with two doubles, seven RBIs and three runs.

Sophomore Micaela Martinez batted 3-for-5 with one homer, three RBIs and two runs.

Freshman Jannet Valencia batted 2-for-4 with one double, two RBIs and one run.

Junior Julia Roton batted 2-for-8 with one RBI and one run.

Freshman Priscilla Hamidat batted 2-for-2 with one run.

“We have a full lineup that knows how to hit,” Espinoza said. 

Central Valley had its 2020 season cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Hawks have amassed a 12-14 overall record dating back to last year.

Central Valley finished 7-9 this season, following a 5-5 showing this past spring.

The Hawks relied on veteran and young talent.

 “We had really good chemistry despite our age difference,” Espinoza said. “We had the same type of mentality. We all wanted to improve and win.”

“This year was really fun,” Godinez added. “We had a good connection. We all got super close to each other. We’re young. We’re only going to get better.” 


Central Valley’s boys tennis program hosted the Western Athletic Conference Singles and Doubles championships on May 17.

Junior Omar Lepe advanced to the quarterfinals of the singles tournament.

Lepe won one of two matches.

He defeated Beyer’s Matthew Davis 6-1, 6-2 in the first round.

He lost to 6-0, 6-0 to Mountain House’s Pranav Sundar in the quarterfinals.

 “We expected him to get one win out there,” head coach Mike Rodriguez said. “He had a favorable draw.”

Lepe, Central Valley’s top singles player, compiled a 4-4 record against WAC competition this year.

“He’s a solid player,” Rodriguez said. “He’s getting better. He’s always been good at getting the ball back.”

Junior Lourdvic Polanes lost 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 to Patterson’s Jesus Torres in the first round.

Polanes, Central Valley’s No. 2 singles player, posted a 3-4 overall record this season.

“He had a pretty tough match,” Rodriguez said. “He made it competitive.  The first set was really close.”

Lepe and Polanes will fill the top spots in the Hawks’ lineup in 2022. “They gained some experience,” Rodriguez said. “I think they should be better next year if they put in work during the offseason.”

Lepe and Ruben Hernandez lost 7-5, 6-2 to Patterson’s Diego Herrera and Jovanni Galvez in the opening round of the doubles tournament.

Willy Souksavath and Aiden Sinlapaxay won by forfeit against Johansen’s Lorenzo Vera and Tomas Maravilla in the first round.

They lost 6-0, 6-0 to Mountain House’s David Clo and Daakshesh Thangavel in the quarterfinals. Clo and Thangavel claimed the WAC doubles title.

“It was a tough draw,” Rodriguez said. “They competed. They played hard. Mountain House was really good.”

Dottie Frings
Seniors Dottie Frings, Sammy Espinoza, Isabella Pelayo and Gabby Benenati suited up for Central Valley’s softball team for the final time last week. Pictured (left to right): Frings, Espinoza, Pelayo, Benanati and head coach Regina Selfridge.