The Ceres Sizzle 16-to-18-year-old travel softball team enjoyed a breakthrough performance at the NSA World Series Warmup Tournament this past month in Elk Grove.
Ceres claimed the team title.
The Sizzle failed to place at their previous three tournaments.
“It’s a huge boost for their confidence,” head coach Brian Garfield said.
Ceres posted a perfect 6-0 record at the World Series Warmup.
The Sizzle outscored their opponents, 46-11.
“We do a lot of repetition at practice. It finally paid off.”Head Coach Brian Garfield
“We do a lot of repetition at practice,” Garfield said. “It finally paid off.”
Top-seeded Ceres edged out second-seeded Elk Grove Thunder-Alexaner 3-2 in the championship game on July 22.
“I knew they’d have their time,” Garfield said while talking about his team’s superb effort. “Every tournament we’ve gotten better. It boiled down to them trusting each other and trusting me. They were confident. Everybody hit.”
The game was decided in the seventh by the international tiebreaker. Each team started the inning with a runner on second base.
Alyssa Figueroa accounted for the winning run.
Tied at 2-2, Figueroa advanced to third on a bunt and scored on a fielder’s choice to secure the victory.
Elk Grove’s third baseman fielded Brianna Quiroz’s chopping line drive and opted to throw the ball to first instead of home.
“Everybody was excited,” said Garfield, whose team managed to win despite stranding eight runners on base. “I knew it was going to be really competitive.”
Ceres also topped Elk Grove Thunder-Legrande (10-0, 8-3), Norcal Bullets (11-1, 7-1) and NorCal Pride Softball (7-4) during the course of the tournament.
“They looked relaxed and comfortable,” Garfield said. “Everyone was having fun.”
The Sizzle will compete in Santa Cruz this weekend.
Ceres will look to place in its second consecutive tournament.
“We have so much talent on this team,” Garfield said. “We should be able to hang with anybody.”