Recent Ceres High grad Callie Nunes competed for the NorCal Batbusters-Gomes 18-and-under travel softball team for the final time this past week.
"It was a bittersweet moment," Nunes said.
Callie starred at pitcher as Batbusters-Gomes compiled a 5-2 record en route to a third-place finish at the 2017 Premier Girls Fastpitch National Championship, staged July 22-28, in Huntington Beach.
"We're the only team from Northern California to rank this high," Nunes said. "We made history. It's really awesome."
Batbusters-Gomes collected victories against So Cal Athletics-Richardson, Lil Rebels RC, Intensity Tx-Cain, TN Fury Premier and Chicago Cheetahs in the Premier Bracket.
Batbusters-Gomes lost to Corona Angels-Tyson and Beverly Bandits-Conroy.
Callie totaled 58 strikeouts in 422/3 innings.
"My (college) coaches were at every game I pitched," said Nunes, who will continue her softball career at NCAA Division-II Concordia University in Irvine. "We played well defensively. We had clutch hits. It was a total team effort this time around."
Batbusters-Gomes won two of four games at the 2016 Nationals.
Nunes helped lead her team past 2015 PGF national champion OC Batbusters-Stith (4-0) and Mizuno Hawks (7-0).
"We definitely exceeded expectations this year," she said. "Nobody expected us to get very far. It was a huge motivating factor for all of us. We believed we could do it. We surprised everyone."
Batbusters-Gomes managed to place third at Nationals this summer despite competing with a revamped lineup.
"This tournament, we brought up young girls," Nunes said. "The team gelled. It was so much fun. My biggest goal was to be the best leader I could be."
Nunes suited up for Batbusters-Gomes 18s for four years.
She improved each season.
"It was so much fun," Nunes said. "I give a lot of my growth as a pitcher to travel softball. I was able to face some of the best players and teams in the nation. I always had to be at the top of my game."
Already considered one of the Ceres High varsity softball program's all-time greatest pitchers, Callie Nunes added to her legacy by compiling a 20-3 record with a 0.52 earned-run average, 291 strikeouts and one no-hitter during her final season with the Bulldogs.
Callie was selected to the Cal-Hi Sports All-State Medium Schools First Team on July 9.
She ranked fourth in the state in strikeouts.
Nunes was voted Western Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year for the second consecutive season.
The Bulldogs (20-9, 9-1) qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs for the sixth straight year and claimed their fourth straight WAC championship.
Callie helped propel the Bulldogs (23-5, 11-1) to their second section crown in 2016, ending a 21-year drought between titles.
Nunes and the third-seeded Bulldogs went 5-1 in the Division-III playoffs, beating Benicia twice, and Oakdale, Pioneer and American Canyon once.
Callie had a career record of 52-13 with 698 strikeouts and four no-hitters.
"My whole softball career has been such a trip," Nunes said. "It's really interesting to look back at where I've come from and how much I've grown. I've had so many coaches and teammates that helped me along the way."
Nunes will move to Irvine on Aug. 18.
The 2017-18 school year at Concordia University begins Aug. 21.
The Eagles amassed a 36-15-2 overall record and finished in fourth place in the PacWest standings (22-10) in 2017.
"I'm so excited," Nunes said. "I expect to get playing time. But I'll have to earn it."