The Ceres Sizzle 14-and-under travel softball team fell short in its quest for back-to-back NSA Western World Series A-division championships.
Second-seeded Ceres compiled a 6-2 record en route to a runner-up finish at the 14-team tournament, staged July 13-14, in Ventura.
"We went there to try to defend our title," head coach Vicki Wilson said. "It's sad we didn't take first. It was steeper competition. I'm still very proud of them."
The Sizzle won four of six games in the World Series bracket at Camino Fields.
Ceres topped the Sutter Buttes Thunder twice (7-6, 6-0), and Hot Shots and Central Coast Impact once (6-4, 8-0).
The Sizzle lost twice (4-3, 6-0) to the top-seeded Bownet Blackout.
"I'm not going to take anything away from Bownet," Wilson said. "They had a great team. We played very tough against them Friday night. They outhit us and we made a few errors Saturday morning."
Ceres earned the No. 2 seed after winning both of its games in pool play on July 13.
The Sizzle collected victories against the Hot Shots (8-2) and Central Cal Insanity (3-2).
Ceres has placed in four of six tournaments this season.
The Sizzle earned three firsts and one second.
Mimi Mariscal, Jessica Arreola, Arianna Alderete, Katie O'Leary, Taylor Espinoza, Anlyana Munson, Taylor Reed, Marisol Diaz Morales, Marissa Rosales, Hailey Crudo and Breanna Moreno have all played a part in the team's success.
"We have great team chemistry," Wilson said. "That's what makes us so strong. We're like a big family."
Ceres will compete at the Wounded Warriors Benefit Tournament, Aug. 10-11, at Turlock's Pedretti Park.
Wilson will coach the Sizzle 16s this fall.
The majority of players from Vicki's 14-and-under team will join her.