The Ceres Sizzle 14-and-under travel softball squad enjoyed a breakthrough performance by advancing to the championship game of the Oct. 26-27 NSA Halloween Classic at Rainbow Fields in Modesto.
“They definitely exceeded expectations,” said head coach Audel Valencia, whose team’s previous-best finish at a tourney was third in Elk Grove.
Ceres won four of five games en route to a second-place showing in the Gold Division at the Halloween Classic.
“Our hitting carried us the whole tournament,” Valenica said. “We scored 34 runs in three games on Saturday and 19 more on Sunday to get to the championship. Our defense could have been a little cleaner.”
Second-seeded Ceres lost 8-3 to the top-seeded SoCal Athletics in the finals on Oct. 27.
“That team gave up one run all weekend (prior to playing us),” coach Valencia said.
Jannet Valencia’s bases-loaded double scored Amaya Castrejon and Aryana Maldonado in the top of the second inning.
Ceres edged out the Valley Heat in international tiebreaker play, 19-18, in the sixth inning.
Makenna Azevedo and Nani Sagapolu accounted for the winning run.
Azevedo scored on Sagapolu’s grounder to second base.
The Sizzle had an unblemished 3-0 record in pool play on Oct. 26.
Ceres secured victories against the NorCal Assassins (13-2), Easton Bullets (13-1) and Misfits (8-2).