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Second-place finish for Dawgs
Ceres High's varsity softball team did just about everything right leading up to its NorCal Classic gold bracket tournament championship showdown with Franklin of Elk Grove last week in Tracy.

"I was on top of the world after the first three games," head coach Donnie Donaldson said. "We played really well. We only had one error. We executed."

The Wildcats topped the Bulldogs 12-3 in five innings for the title on Saturday.

"They were a very good hitting team," said Donaldson, whose team dropped to 8-7 on the year. "They hit two balls over the fence."

Ceres High star pitcher Vaneza Hoover yielded five earned runs and eight hits while striking out one, walking two and beaning two over four innings.

The Bulldogs also committed one error.

As a team, Ceres High batted .286 (6-for-21) and stranded five runners on base.

Hoover went 2-for-3 from the plate with a triple, homer, one run and one RBI. Ryan Norton finished 2-for-2 with a double, run and RBI. Cassie Rayford singled and scored once. All-tourney selection Mika Johnson tallied a single, walk and stolen base.

Vaneza's solo homer, her second of the season, brought Ceres High within two runs, 5-3, in the third inning.

Franklin put the game out of reach with six runs in the third and one in the fourth.

"We fell apart," Donaldson said.

The Bulldogs trailed 3-1 at the end of the first inning. Norton reached on catcher's interference, moved to second on Chelsae Lomeli's grounder and scored on Hoover's triple.

Cassie Rayford accounted for Ceres High's second run in the second inning.

The Bulldogs posted a 3-1 record en route to a second-place finish at the 16-team tournament.

Ceres High avenged losses to Beyer (8-2) and Merced (5-3), and edged Sheldon of Oregon (3-2).

Hoover pitched six scoreless innings after allowing a pair of runs in the top of the first during Ceres High's triumph over Beyer on Saturday. Vaneza gave up just one hit, fanned seven, walked four and beaned one.

The Bulldogs totaled 11 hits.

Mika amassed four singles, three runs and four stolen bases.

Cassie collected a single and three RBIs.

Chelsae singled and drove in two runs.

Hillary Haley singled and scored twice.

Norton doubled, scored once and drove in a run.

Vaneza singled and plated a run.

Jode Johnson singled twice and scored once.

Taiylor Sakurada added a run.

Against Merced on Thursday, Hoover surrendered one earned run, three hits and two hit batsmen in seven innings. She had 10 strikeouts.

Chelsae, Jode and Vaneza had multiple-hit games for Ceres High.

Lomeli went 4-for-5 with three singles, a double, two runs and two RBIs.

Johnson batted 2-for-3 with a double, two stolen bases and three RBIs.

Hoover doubled twice and scored once.

The Bulldogs opened the tournament with a hardfought victory over Sheldon on Thursday

Mika singled, registered a steal and drove in one run.

Chelsae collected a single and an RBI.

Hilary and Taylor both scored once.

Vaneza and Cassie added doubles.

Hoover allowed two hits, struck out six and walked five in seven innings. She gave up two unearned runs due to an error.

Ceres High will have its hands full when it faces University of Georgia bound Erin Arevalo and first-place East Union Thursday at Northgate Park. The Valley Oak League game will begin at 6 p.m.