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Lady Dawgs top Turlock; remain in first in CCC
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The Ceres High softball team suffered its first loss in league on Tuesday, April 6. A lot was at stake when Ceres played host to Turlock on Thursday--a share of first place in the Central California Conference.

Ceres erased a one-run deficit in the bottom of the first inning and edged Turlock 2-1.

"It shows how much pride the girls have," said Ceres coach Mike Corsaut.

Andrea Mathis pitched a complete game for Ceres, which committed just one error. The senior allowed five hits, struck out three batters, walked none and got 14 ground-ball outs.

"She did a great job today," Corsaut said. "She hit her spots and got a lot of groundballs."

Turlock pitcher Aja Scheuber gave up eight hits, fanned seven and walked none.

With the win, Ceres remained in a first-place tie with Golden Valley at 8-1 and a game ahead of Turlock (7-2) in the CCC standings.

"It's always good to beat Turlock," Corsaut said. "Turlock is one of our big rivals."

Ceres broke a 1-1 tie in the third inning.

Monica Hall singled, moved to second on a grounder and scored on Nash's double over the left fielder's head.

Ceres evened the score at 1-all in the first inning.

Meghan Franksen singled, moved to second on a throwing error and scored on Nash's single to center field.

"Jordan drove in both of our runs with two out," Corsaut said.

Turlock scored its lone run in the top of the first inning. Jessica Pontes doubled down the left-field line and scored on a single to center field.

Mathis held Turlock in check in the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings. She retired 15 of 16 batters.

Nash and Franksen both went 2-for-3 from the plate.

Heidi Eisenbeis, Jennifer Arnold, Amanda Gravitt and Hall each had a single.

Davis stuns Ceres

Coach Corsaut sensed trouble. But decided to leave his starting pitcher in the game even though she was struggling.

"The girls didn't expect to lose that game," Corsaut said.

"Andrea was undefeated up to that point."

Mathis and the Bulldogs blew a two-run lead and lost 6-5 to the Spartans in Modesto on Tuesday, April 6. Davis' Krystal Shimmel lined a three-run triple into the right-center field gap with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Davis handed Ceres its first loss in league.

With the loss, the Bulldogs fell into a three-way tie for first in the CCC with a 7-1 record with Turlock and Golden Valley. Davis improved to 6-2 in league.

Davis pitcher Caitie Holmes allowed five runs, two earned, on six hits.

Mathis gave up a season-high 14 hits.

Home tournament

Six of the top softball teams in the Sac-Joaquin Section are participating in the Ceres Softball Tournament at Rainbow Fields this Friday and Saturday.

Ceres High, Oakdale, East Union, Hughson, Patterson and Orestimba will vie for the championship.

Any one of those teams could take home the championship.

"I believe so," Corsaut said.

"You put any of these teams in the Central California Conference and they're battling for a league title. They're all equal."

Ceres is a member of the CCC. The Bulldogs are tied for first in league with Golden Valley at 8-1 and have compiled an 11-2-1 overall record.

Mathis, Shelby Olivan, Kelsey Sayad, Jennifer Arnold and Monica Hall will pitch for Ceres.

Mathis is the Bulldogs' top pitcher. She has posted four shutouts in league play.

Oakdale and East Union are members of the Valley Oak League.

Sophomore Marissa Drewrey and the Mustangs are in first place in league at 7-0 and have compiled a 13-1-2 overall record. Drewrey pitched a perfect game against Los Banos on Thursday.

The Lancers are 2-2 in league, 7-4 overall. Brittney Tachara is East Union's ace pitcher. She's a fourth-year varsity player.

Patterson and Hughson compete in the Trans-Valley League.

Ashley Johnson and the Tigers are 3-0 in the TVL, 8-1 overall. Johnson is Patterson's best pitcher.

Angela Cabral and the Huskies are 4-1 in the TVL, 6-2 overall. Cabral is Hughson's No. 1 pitcher.

Orestimba competes in the Southern League. The Warriors are in first place in their division at 6-0 and have compiled a 9-2 overall record. Orestimba has two quality pitchers--Stephanie Tapp and Shelby DePauw.

The Bulldogs will play five games in the span of two days.

On Friday, Ceres will play Hughson at 10 a.m., Patterson at 11:30 a.m. and Oakdale at 2:30 p.m. On Saturday, the Bulldogs will play Orestimba at 11:30 a.m. and East Union at 1 p.m.

Ceres took first last year. The Bulldogs beat Hughson in the championship game.

"We'll probably see everybody's No. 1 pitcher," Corsaut said. "That's not a bad thing. It will make us better."

The Bulldogs will be prepared for their next league opponent. Golden Valley plays host to Ceres on April 20 at 3:30 p.m. - By DALE BUTLER / Staff Reporter of The Ceres (Calif.) Courier