The Ceres Blaze 12-and-under travel baseball team finished first at the USSA Baseball Gold Rush Classic Tournament this past weekend.
The nine-team event was staged, Aug. 6-7, at Mistlin Fields in Ripon.
Ceres won all four of its games.
The Blaze outscored their opponents, 51-23.
Ceres compiled a 2-0 record in Bracket A.
The third-seeded Blaze edged top-seeded Pro Elite Baseball Club 17-16 for the championship on Sunday.
Ceres bested the second-seeded Dirt Devils 12-2 in the semifinals on Sunday.
The Blaze were awarded the third seed after a 2-0 showing in pool play.
Ceres routed Sting Baseball Silver 13-4 on Saturday.
The Blaze topped Team Boss 9-1 on Saturday.
Ceres amassed a 21-25 record this year.
The Blaze won nine of their final 10 games.
Ceres competed during the winter, spring and summer.
The Ceres Sizzle 14-and-under travel softball team capped off its 2022 season with a productive outing.
The 11th-seeded Sizzle placed second in a field of 20 while competing at the NSA Pacific Coast World Series, staged July 27-31, in Palmdale.
“I’m not surprised at all,” Ceres head coach Nikole Ferrel said. “They had a great spring and summer season leading up to this point. They’ve been working hard. They always show up to practice. They want to get better.”
“The fact that they made it to the championship game was huge for them,” she added. “Eighteen other teams went home before us.”
The Sizzle won five of eight games at the Pacific Coast World Series.
“We saw a lot of good pitching,” Ferrel said. “Our girls stepped it up with their bats. A lot of timely hitting. Defensively, we made very minimal errors in all of the games. Everything clicked. The girls played with a lot of energy.”
Ceres compiled a 4-2 record in bracket play.
The fifth-seeded Bakersfield Redemption defended their title with a 5-3 victory over the Sizzle in extra innings on July 30.
“If we would have won that game, we would have had to beat them again (to win the championship) because they were undefeated,” Ferrel said. “The girls played hard. We just fell short.”
The Sizzle evened the score at 3-3 in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Nani Sagapolu doubled.
Courtesy runner Joli Guillory scored on Kyleigh Robinson’s triple off the center-field fence to send the game into extra innings.
The Redemption grabbed a 5-3 lead in the top of the sixth inning.
“We had two runners on base in the last inning,” Ferrel said. “We just couldn’t get them across.”
The Sizzle defeated the SoCal Choppers 6-5 and Shafter Brawlers 4-1, and lost 10-1 to the Redemption on July 30.
Ceres collected wins against Los Banos’ Bases Loaded Academy (17-3) and Hanford’s CenCal Dirt Dogs (9-3) on July 28.
The Sizzle went 1-1 in pool play.
Ceres topped the Porterville Magic 8-2 and lost 7-4 to Palmdale Redemption Black on July 28.
Makaela Brown and Des Sorci contributed at pitcher.
Robinson played catcher every game.
She also belted one home run.
Sagapolu homered as well.
Bella Bravo had a grand slam and solo shot.
“This was our last summer tournament,” Ferrel said. “They stepped it up.”
Ceres’ season got underway in February and ended in July.
The Sizzle placed in eight of 11 tournaments this year.
Ceres amassed a 45-16-2 record.
Brown, Sorci, Robinson, Sagapolu, Bravo, Joli Guillory, Jacki Guillory, Natalie Corella, Alicia Espinoza, Amaia Ferrel, Selina Luis, Gaby Ortiz, Tatiana Ortiz and Emma Velasco made up the team.
“We had a really good group of girls,” coach Ferrel said. “There was no drama. They were like sisters. They all got along. We’re going to take some time off before we start fall ball in September.”