The Ceres Sizzle 10-and-under travel softball team competed in the 12-year-old bracket of the Sizzle Summer Classic this past weekend.
Ceres turned in a respectable performance by finishing in third place.
"I didn't know how the girls were going to handle playing older girls with more experience," head coach Audel Valenica said. "They actually did really well. They definitely exceeded my expectations. They impressed me."
The Sizzle compiled a 1-3 record at its home tourney, which staged at George Costa Ball Field Complex in Ceres.
"It was pretty hot out there," Valencia said. "But the girls are used to it. We have a routine-water and fruit. The parents made sure to hydrate their kids (leading up to the tournament). We didn't have any issues due to heat exhaustion."
The Sizzle lost 8-0 to the eventual-champion Sizzle 12s in the semifinals.
"They didn't let up and go easy on us," Valencia said. "They had their ace pitcher out there. It was just fun to watch Ceres versus Ceres. A lot of the girls know each other from school and are friends. I was just glad we competed."
The Sizzle won one of three games on Saturday.
Ceres posted a 9-7 victory over Newman.
The Sizzle lost 14-5 to the Sizzle 12s and 5-4 to the Modesto Fusion.
"They were a little hesitant to begin with," Valencia said. "Once they settled in and were able to hit, they did fine. They swung the bats, not a lot of strikeouts. They surprised themselves. They exceeded their own expectations. This is definitely a confidence booster for our next tournament."
Ceres (9-8) plans to compete in Fresno later this month (July 29-30).