Ceres High junior-varsity softball head coach Dave Ward refused to lower his expectations even after he lost seven potential players to the Bulldogs' varsity program.
"Having those girls moved up didn't impact my team," he said. "I was never worried. The girls I have are extremely strong. They worked hard every day. They executed during the games."
Ceres High finished 18-3 on the year and first overall in the Western Athletic Conference standings (9-1).
"We had a phenomenal season," Ward said. "We accomplished our goal. We had a lot of support from our varsity program and athletic director."
Bulldog star pitcher Ali Lowman compiled an impressive 16-3 record with 156 strikeouts and just 17 walks.
She batted .493 with three triples, five doubles and 30 runs.
"I put a lot of responsibility on Ali," Ward said. "She worked hard all year to make sure we won. Her stats were incredible. She was my work horse."
Bulldog teammates Ariel Knights, Destiny Reed, Tiana Framstad, Julie Rosas, Adrianna Knights, Brittney Turnbow, Kinsey Ward, Jasmine Esparza, Cameron Diaz, Cassie Malabannon and Stephanie Garcia also contributed this year.
Savannah batted .379 with 11 runs.
Ariel batted .371 with one triple, one double and 24 runs.
Destiny batted .333 with two doubles and 12 runs.
Tiana batted .318 with one homer, one double and 11 runs.
Julie batted .300 with 14 runs.
Adrianna batted .250 with 13 runs.
Brittney batted .242 with one homer, one triple, three doubles and 28 runs.
Kinsey batted .241 with one homer, one triple, one double and 15 runs.
Jasmine batted .233 with eight runs.
Cameron batted .209 with one homer, one triple and 17 runs.
Cassie and Stephanie scored 12 and three runs, respectively.
"Our goal was to win the WAC," coach Ward said. "I was blessed to have a powerful team. We had a tremendous amount of talent. I had girls who could play multiple positions. I had the strongest bench. I had options."
Ceres High had winning streaks of seven, six and five games during the course of the season.
The Bulldogs lost twice at their home tournament.
"It was a wakeup call," Ward said.