Ceres High’s varsity softball program has experienced a remarkable turnaround from a season ago.
A year removed from struggling to a 6-10 overall record and finishing in fourth place in the Western Athletic Conference standings, the Bulldogs secured their fifth league title in six years with a thrilling 3-2 victory over Los Banos on April 30 in Ceres.
“It’s a great win."Coach Mike Corsaut
“It’s a great win,” said Mike Corsaut, who came out of retirement to coach Ceres High. “It was pretty cool to do it on Senior Day and in front of one of our larger crowds.”
The Bulldogs scored the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Vianney Perez singled, moved to second on Rebecca DeLeon’s sacrifice bunt and raced home on freshman Brooklyn Heffernan’s walk-off double over the centerfielder’s head.
“It was great to be able to step up in that position,” Heffernan said. “I stayed calm and focused. I just wanted to get a hit. It was an amazing experience.”
“I was confident if we got someone on base, we were going to score,” Corsaut said. “I have faith in all of my girls.”
Los Banos evened the score at 2-2 in the top of the seventh inning.
Ceres High freshman pitcher Megan Yorba couldn’t help but grin after giving up a solo homer to Los Banos’ Cassandra Augustine. Augustine drove Yorba’s high pitch over the right-center fence.
“I really didn’t worry,” she said. “I knew we’d come back.”
Yorba allowed one earned run and tallied six strikeouts during the game.
She singled on offense.
Heffernan batted 2-for-4 with one RBI.
Sophomore Cheralyn Durossette batted 3-for-4 with one RBI.
Corsaut recognized two seniors, including Shania Evans and Priscilla Chavez, prior to the start of the Ceres High-Los Banos contest.
The Bulldogs beat the Tigers twice this season.
Ceres High won the first meeting, 8-4, on March 28. The Bulldogs battled back from a three-run deficit.
“We knew it was going to be a battle,” Yorba said. “The last time we played them, it was a close game.”
Ceres High reached its main goal by winning the WAC championship.
“Everything after that is gravy,” Corsaut said.
“I knew our team was going to be able to do it,” Heffernan said. “We have a great team.”
“We’ve been working hard throughout the season,” Yorba said. “Our defense has been really good. If the ball gets put into play, I know they have my back.”
Ceres High (18-5, 12-1) will close out the WAC season this week with a road game at Grace Davis.
The Bulldogs will participate in the playoffs for the fifth time in six years.
“We see this group getting better,” Corsaut said. “But they have to continue to work hard.”