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Runner-up finish for Ceres High
Vaneza Hoover and Kaycee Creek helped lead Ceres High's varsity softball team to a runner-up finish in Pool A at the 19th Bulldog Classic last week at Rainbow Fields.

Ceres (5-1) won three of four games at its home tournament. The Bulldogs compiled an 0-4 record in 2008.

"I thought we played very well," head coach Donnie Donaldson said. "Our pitching was phenomenal. We hit the ball decent. We did better than last year."

Hoover, Ceres High's ace pitcher, posted a 2-1 record with one no-hitter and 31 strikeouts.

"It's the best I've seen her throw ever," Donaldson said. "She's throwing the ball so hard right now. Her riseball is phenomenal. She has really good control. It's definitely fun to watch."

Creek, a freshman pitcher, was dominant in her first-ever start. She accumulated 14 strikeouts in a 1-0 win over Atwater on Friday.

"Not a bad debut," Donaldson said. "I was pretty surprised because she's been playing basketball the last three months."

Ceres High lost 2-1 to Grace Davis in the title game on Saturday.

Hoover had 11 strikeouts, while Spartan pitcher Desiree Maldonado tallied 14.

"It was a battle back and forth," Donaldson said.

The Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning as Ryan Norton doubled, moved to third on Amanda Lampley's single and scored on Hoover's hit to left-center field.

"We didn't have too many baserunners after that," Donaldson said. "She (Desiree) was mowing us down pretty quick."

Ceres High collected just five hits off Maldonado during the final six innings.

Hoover doubled and singled.

Jode Johnson doubled.

Norton and Mika Johnson both singled.

"Every time we got a baserunner on it seemed like it came with two out," Donaldson said.

"We couldn't get anything going. They're a good team."

In the top of the third inning, Hoover singled with one out and advanced to third on Jode Johnson's double. Creek walked to load the bases. Shea Farriester lined out to Maldonado, who doubled off Kaycee at first base.

The Spartans scored their first run on a passed ball in the bottom of the second inning and final one on a single in the fifth.

Ceres High advanced to the finals on Saturday after posting a 3-1 win over Modesto Christian.

Hoover had 10 strikeouts.

Vaneza allowed no hits and fanned 10 batters during the Bulldogs' 7-0 five-inning victory against Beyer on Friday.

Ceres High will host Golden Valley today, travel to Pitman on Thursday and host Turlock on Friday. All three games start at 3:30 p.m.

Hawks win one

Central Valley High School's varsity softball squad placed fourth in Pool E at the Bulldog Classic last week.

The Hawks collected one win and three ties.

Enochs (4-0), West (3-1) and Orestimba (2-2) finished first, second and third, respectively. Weston Ranch took last (0-5).

Central Valley tallied five hits on its way to a 4-1 triumph over Livingston in a first-round game on Thursday.

In the nightcap, the Hawks squandered a three-run lead during their 5-3 loss to Enochs.

Central Valley fell 11-1 to Orestimba and 10-3 to West on Saturday.