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Hoover blasts historic homer
Ceres High varsity softball coach Donnie Donaldson knew it would just be a matter of time before one of his players made history at their new ballpark, which opened last season.

"They pepper the wall in practice," he said.

Junior Vaneza Hoover became the first Bulldog to hit a homer over the fence when she teed off in an 11-7 win over Weston Ranch in Valley Oak League play on Tuesday, March 18.

"That's a big thing," head coach Donnie Donaldson said. "You don't know how long it will be before another one. In the history of Ceres High softball, there have only been two out-of-the-park home runs."

Heidi Eisenbeis hit the first-ever homer at the Bulldogs' old ballpark, which has since been converted into a frosh-soph baseball diamond, during her junior year. The 2005 Ceres High graduate tallied a lead-off home run to center field in a 10-0 victory against Beyer in Central California Conference play. Eisenbeis earned a scholarship to Saint Mary's College.

Hoover's historical two-run homer gave the Bulldogs a 10-6 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning.

She was mobbed by teammates at home plate.

"I knew it was going to go far because I put all of my power into it," Hoover said. "It feels good. I've always wanted to hit it over the fence since my freshman year. I hit two out at practice yesterday."

"She just has so much power," Donaldson said.

A parent retrieved the ball for Hoover.

"I'm going to have everyone sign it and keep it as a trophy in my room," she said.

Vaneza plans to add to her collection.

"I'm confident I'll hit at least a couple more out," Hoover said.

Vaneza just missed homering in the first inning against Weston Ranch. She hit a deep fly to dead center, 15 feet short of the fence.

A total of two home runs have been hit in 11 games at Ceres' second-year ballpark.

Oakdale's MacKenzie Taylor collected the first homer in a 2-0 win over the Bulldogs last year. She belted a solo shot in the top of the sixth inning.