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Lady Dawgs fall into second in CCC
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Ceres High softball coach Mike Corsaut showed a lot of class after his team lost 2-0 to Merced in Ceres on Thursday. Corsaut walked across the infield and praised the Bears for their effort.

"They played a better game than us and they beat us," Corsaut said.

The Bears knocked the Bulldogs into a second-place tie with Golden Valley in the Central California Conference behind Davis and Turlock.

Ceres fell to 10-3 in the league standings, 16-6 overall, while Merced improved to 6-6 in the CCC, 12-11 overall. The top four teams advance to the playoffs.

Ceres has won or shared the CCC title for the last seven years and made the playoffs 15 years in a row.

"We have to win out to even have a chance for a share of the league title," Corsaut said.

Added Merced coach Bart McAfee: "We don't want them to win it because they beat us."

The Bulldogs have compiled a 2-2 record without their top player. Meghan Franksen, Ceres' leadoff batter and shortstop, pulled her right hamstring in practice and hasn't played in two weeks. Ceres went 8-1 in league with Franksen in the lineup.

"It hurts not having her (Meghan)," Corsaut said.

Added McAfee: "We would have pitched around her."

Sophomore pitcher Deborah McCollum limited the Bulldogs to four hits, including three bloop singles, in seven innings. Ceres reached second base just once.

"We didn't swing the bats," Corsaut said.

Sophomore Jennifer Arnold pitched a complete game for Ceres. She gave up six hits and had five strikeouts and two walks.

Merced scored both of its runs in the top of the first inning.

Megan Cullens and Evita Mosqueda had back-to-back singles to left field. They scored on an error. McCollum's hooking line drive glanced off of Kelsey Sayad's glove in left field. Sayad started in place of Michelle Gonzales, who was relegated to the bench for missing practice.

Dawgs rout Falcons

Arnold pitched a one-hitter, Andrea Mathis drove in three runs, Heather Russell scored two times and had two RBIs, Heidi Eisenbeis had a double, triple and two RBIs and Gonzales and Jordan Nash scored twice to lead the Bulldogs to an 11-0 victory over the Falcons in Atwater on Tuesday, April 27.

Arnold made her second consecutive start in league. She struck out six and walked none.

The Bulldogs scored seven runs in the top of the seventh inning. Elisha Ferguson had a leadoff single, Nash followed with a single and Amanda Gravitt walked to loaded the bases.

After a force out at the plate, Mathis drove in Nash and Gravitt with a single. Russell followed with a two-run single and scored on Gonzales' grounder to give the Bulldogs a 9-0 lead. Eisenbeis walked and moved to second as Gonzales scored on Ferguson's single. Eisenbeis scored on Nash's single.

Ceres scored one run in the top of the second inning, two in the fourth and one in the fifth.

Eisenbeis had a two-run triple in the fourth inning. She lined an 0-2 pitch over the right fielder's head.

Nash doubled and scored on Mathis' two-out single in the second inning.

Ferguson scored from third on Monique Castro's sacrifice fly in the fifth inning. - By DALE BUTLER / Staff Reporter of The Ceres (Calif.) Courier