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Ceres Sizzle 8s capture second softball tournament title
The Ceres Sizzle 8-and-under travel softball team placed first at its home tournament this past weekend at the George Costa Ball Field Complex in Ceres. The Sizzle edged Atwater 1-0 in the title game on Sunday. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

For the fourth straight tournament, the Ceres Sizzle 8-and-under travel softball team and Atwater met in a title game.

Ceres earned a narrow 1-0 victory while battling Atwater in the finals of the Sizzle Summer Classic on Sunday.

"Every championship game has been us and Atwater," Sizzle head coach Nicole Ferrel said. "It's good competition. They're a strong team."

The Sizzle compiled a 6-0 record at their home tournament, which was staged this past weekend at the George Costa Ball Field Complex in Ceres.

Jocelyn Garza accounted for the winning run during the championship game.

Ceres teammate Samantha Nichols put the ball in play and Garza scored all the way from second base on a throwing error.

"The girls were hitting the ball," Ferrel said. "Both teams were making plays on defense. You usually don't see defense that solid at that age. I knew the first team to score would win. It's a big deal for us. To beat Atwater at home makes it that much special."

The Sizzle had a head-to-head record of 4-2 versus Atwater this summer.

Ceres topped Atwater in the finals at the Ceres and Newman tournaments.

Atwater bested Ceres for titles in Hilmar and Riverbank.

"We have the two best teams (in the area)," Ferrel said. "We're pretty equal. The girls get along."

Ceres advanced to the title game of its home tourney with a 16-14 win over the Modesto Fusion on Sunday.

The Sizzle beat Modesto (6-1), Hilmar (14-2), Patterson (9-1) and Atwater (8-5) on Saturday.

Makaela Brown, Amaia Ferrel, Lilly Staggs, Ajiah Wright, KaDynce Piceno and Elizabeth Figueroa led the way on offense.
Ceres posted an overall record of 20-3 this summer.
The Sizzle roster featured 13 players, including Garza, Nichols, Brown, Ferrel, Staggs, Wright, Piceno, Figueroa, Addie Prudhel, Ella Carrasco, Valerie Espinoza, Emma Hernandez and Danny Yepez.

Valaree Gonzales and Sam Nichols served as assistant coaches.

Dima Ferrel was team manager.

Garza, Ferrel, Brown, Nichols, Staggs, Prudhel, Carrasco, Espinoza, Piceno, Hernandez, Yepez, Figueroa and Wright all played in the Ceres Youth Softball recreational league during the springtime.

"We had a lot of girls with good attitudes that wanted to learn," coach Ferrel said. "They were coachable. They got better at every aspect of the game. We also had a great coaching staff."