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Sizzle 12-and-under team takes first
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The Ceres Sizzle 12-under softball squad did it again.

The Sizzle placed first for the third time this season. They compiled a 6-0 record in a field of seven at the 15th Annual Ceres Sizzle Mid-Summer Classic at Costa Field this past weekend.

"It's kind of nice winning your own tournament," said Ceres coach Donnie Donaldson.

The Sizzle extended their winning streak to nine and improved to 22-2 overall. They placed first in Oakdale twice.

"We're just cruising right along," Donaldson said.

The Sizzle scored 64 runs at their home tourney. Ceres' pitching staff, which includes Briana Rios, Kaycee Creek-Donaldson, Vicki Ochoa and Sierra Romero, allowed just six runs.

On Sunday, third-seeded Sizzle beat the Hughson Rebels 22-2 in the quarterfinals, San Ramon Stompers 7-1 in the semifinals and Merced Tigers 8-0 in the finals. The Tigers earned the right to play the Sizzle after upsetting the Folsom Aftershock, the No. 1 seed, in the semifinals.

Rios allowed just one hit, and struck out four and walked none in the championship game.

Ochoa and Creek-Donaldson pitched against San Ramon and Hughson, respectively. Ochoa allowed one hit and struck out four. Creek-Donaldson allowed two hits and struck out nine.

Ceres went 3-0 in pool play, which determined seeds. On Saturday, the Sizzle routed the Sizzle B-team 11-1 and Livermore Smoke 10-2. They shut out Merced 6-0 on Friday.

Romero, Creek-Donaldson and Rios threw against the Sizzle B-team, Smoke and Tigers, respectively. Romero gave up just one hit. Creek-Donaldson gave up just one hit and had six strikeouts. Rios gave up just three hits, fanned 10 and walked none.

Ceres will participate in the Amateur Softball Association Western National Championship Tournament, Aug. 1-7, in Mount Vernon, Wash.

"It would be nice to compete and beat some teams," Donaldson said. "I don't want to get sent home early."

B-team improves

The Ceres Sizzle 12-and-under B-team turned in its best performance of the season at the Mid-Summer Classic. Dima Ferrel's squad took fifth with a 1-3 record.

"I'm very pleased with them," she said. "They've come a long way.

"That was their first win in three tournaments."

The Sizzle won their first game. They cruised past the Hughson Rebels, 17-1, on Friday.

On Saturday, Ceres lost 8-1 to the Merced Tigers and 11-1 to the Sizzle A-team.

The Tigers edged the Sizzle 9-8 on Sunday. - By DALE BUTLER / Staff reporter of the Ceres (Calif.) Courier