The Ceres Sizzle 12-and-under travel softball team accomplished a lot this year.
The Sizzle placed in five tournaments, including first in Ceres, Stockton, Sonora and Reno, and second in Modesto.
“We set small goals and started reaching them,” head coach Nikole Ferrel said. “I’m really proud of them.”
Ceres’ roster consisted of 13 players: Ortiz, Brown, Bravo, Wright, Herrera, Samantha Alcaraz, Valerie Espinoza, Alicia Espinoza, Amaia Ferrel, Jackie Guillory, Jolissa Guillory, Kyliegh Robinson and Taylor Silva.
The Sizzle didn’t compete in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“After three months of practicing, things started clicking for them,” coach Ferrel said. “They put a lot of work in on their own. They played together as a team. They were happy to be around each other.”
The Sizzle competed for the final time in the 12-and-under division two weekends ago.
Ceres took second at the Back to School Bash Tournament, staged July 31-, Aug. 1, at Rainbow Fields in Modesto.
The Sizzle compiled a 5-2 record.
Fourth-seeded Ceres lost 7-6 in extra innings to second-seeded Swat Steh in the finals on Aug. 1.
“Always proud when you’re one of the last two teams playing,” Nikole Ferrel said.
Down 6-5, Swat Steh scored twice in the bottom of the seventh to secure the victory.
The two teams combined for 18 hits and eight errors.
Swat Steh avenged an 8-7 loss, sustained in seed play.
“That’s what a championship game should be like,” Ferrel said. “You want close competition. They were a good team. They came through with hits when they needed it.”
Valerie Espinoza batted 1-for-3 from the plate with two runs and one RBI in defeat.
Gabriela Ortiz batted 1-for-3 with one double and two RBIs.
Makaela Brown batted 1-for-3 with two runs.
Isabella Bravo batted 1-for-4 with two runs.
Ajiah Wright batted 2-for-3 with one RBI.
The Sizzle topped No. 1 seed Swat Robinson 3-1 in the semifinals. Ceres exacted revenge for a 4-3 loss.
The Sizzle beat Anarchy twice (16-0, 14-2) and the Wave once (17-4).