The Ceres Sizzle 12-and-under travel softball team had to settle for runner-up honors at the NSA World Series Warmup Tournament this past month in Elk Grove.
“We definitely thought we could win the tournament,” head coach Audel Valencia said. “But we didn’t know how good Easton Elite was. They put a lot of pressure on us by testing our defense. It’s a credit to their coaches.”
Ceres won three of six games at the World Series Warmup.
The second-seeded Sizzle compiled an 0-3 record against the top-seeded Easton Elite.
Ceres lost 14-4 to Easton in the finals on July 22.
The Sizzle lost 11-6 and 16-4 to Elite in pool play on July 21.
“We were good enough to beat them,” Valencia said. “We definitely gave them their monies worth. It was not easy. They had a pitcher that was throwing absolute gas. I didn’t know how our girls would respond. A few of them hit and surprised me. They found another gear. They were competitive.”
Ceres topped the third-seeded Riverbank Rock Stars 14-3 on July 22 and 8-5 and 14-8 on July 21.
The Sizzle had a successful summer campaign thanks in large part to great chemistry.
Ceres placed first twice, second three times and fifth once while competing in six tournaments.
“I saw a ton of improvement,” Valencia said. “Fielding. Hitting. Communicating. Everybody got better. They were committed.”