By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Runner-up finish
Ceres High's and Sierra's varsity softball teams posted identical 3-0-1 records in Pool B at the Ceres tournament last week.

The Timberwolves were awarded the title because they allowed six fewer runs than the Bulldogs.

Ceres High head coach Donnie Donaldson had no complaints. The Bulldogs excelled without Jode Johnson, a three-year varsity standout. Johnson earned a scholarship to William Jessup University.

"We played extremely well this weekend," he said. "I'm surprised because we're still looking for an identity."

Ryan Norton and Kaycee Creek, Ceres High's team captains, both shined.

Norton batted .643 from the plate (9-for-14) with five stolen bases, five runs and two RBIs. She also made two diving catches against Sierra.

Creek posted a 3-1 record while starring at pitcher. She allowed 10 runs and just three extra-base hits in 22 innings. Kaycee totaled 27 strikeouts with four walks.

She also helped her own cause with one homer, one triple, one single, two runs and three RBIs.

"That's what I expected from both of them," Donaldson said. "They had a phenomenal tournament."

Alexis Cummings had a successful debut at the varsity level. The junior first baseman batted .333 (3-for-9) with two runs and two RBIs. Cummings played shortstop during the Bulldogs' first game.

"To perform like that was really good," Donaldson said. "I'm really proud of her."

Ceres High and Sierra battled to a 3-3 tie on Saturday.

Both teams overcame deficits.

"That was an unbelievable game," Donaldson said. "The stands were packed."

Sierra grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning.

The Bulldogs scored three runs in the bottom of the third inning. Samantha Simms singled and moved to second on Cassandra Carrillo's bunt hit. Simms and Carrillo advanced to third and second, respectively, on Nicolette Mendes' sacrifice. Norton cleared the bases with a single over the shortstop's head. Ryan moved to second on the throw home and later scored on an error.

Sierra evened the score at 3-all in the top of the sixth inning.

Ceres High threatened during its final at-bats.

Creek collected a two-out, triple.

The Bulldogs stranded the winning run at third base.

Timberwolf pitcher Allison Walljasper secured the tie when she notched her 14th strikeout of the game.

The Bulldogs' three wins came against Franklin (6-2), Turlock (4-3) and Riverbank (4-2).

Ceres High will play host to Orestimba today at 3:30 p.m.

Hawks secure split

Central Valley High School's varsity softball team compiled a 2-2 record in Pool E of the Ceres High tournament this past week.

"I was happy with the way the girls played for being so young and inexperienced," coach Margo Arzola said. "They showed me what they're capable of. They might surprise a lot of people this year."

The Hawks bested Waterford and Lathrop on Wednesday at Rainbow Fields.

Freshman Sarah McElroy pitched a complete game in Central Valley's 3-1 win over Waterford.

Jessica Berndt led the way on offense with a pair of singles and one run.

Alyssa Meshach doubled twice.

Malynda Lomeli singled.

Freshman Lexy Cordova pitched during the Hawks' 6-3 victory against Lathrop. She also singled on offense.

Berndt batted 1-for-3 with two RBIs and one sacrifice bunt.

Molly Littmann tripled, singled and knocked in a run.

Lomeli and Jazareth Valencia both doubled.

Central Valley lost 5-4 to Beyer and 8-2 to Orestimba on Saturday.

"They tried their best," Arzola said.

Meshach, Berndt and McElroy all drove in one run against Beyer.

Freshman Mia Lorenzo singled twice.

McElroy and Cordova split time at pitcher.

Lomeli doubled against Orestimba.

Meshach singled.

Cordova pitched.

Lorenzo played catcher all four games.

Los Banos won the team title.

Beyer placed second.

Central Valley will play at Pitman today and Ripon on Friday. Both non-league games will begin at 3:30 p.m.