Ceres rolls Los Banos in tiebreaker game

By David Witte / sports@losbanosenterprise.comMay 10, 2013 

After this season's first two meetings between Los Banos and Ceres softball were decided by one run each, it would be safe to assume the third, a seeding game prior to the playoffs, would be equally close.

But Ceres broke the mold with Wednesday's 10-3 victory in Los Banos, securing the Western Athletic Conference's second seed for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 4 playoffs.

"That's actually the third time we've seen Taylor (Harris, Los Banos pitcher) this year, so we kind of had a game plan going into it to try to get the bat on the ball," Ceres coach Donnie Donaldson said. "She's got a decent riseball and she's kept it away from us two games in a row, so we kind of had a little practice with it."

The game was scheduled after Los Banos and Ceres each finished 8-4 in the WAC, with LB winning the first game 2-1 and Ceres winning the return trip 5-4. LB won the coin toss and chose to host, but Ceres batted last. With the loss, Los Banos (14-13) will host an outbracket game Monday against Liberty Ranch (13-12), while Ceres will travel to SVC champion Union Mine on May 15. LB defeated Liberty Ranch once this season, 4-3 at the Ceres Classic Tournament. The winner of the outbracket game will face VOL champion Sierra (21-2).

Los Banos took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Angela Rodriguez reached on an error, moved to second on a sacrifice and scored on two consecutive passed balls. Ceres rebounded with back-to-back home runs by MacKenzie Vueve and Mahlena O'Neal.

Rodriguez tied the game in the second with a two-run single, but Ceres got out of the inning despite facing a bases-loaded situation with one out.

Ceres added three in the fifth after a leadoff Nicole Bates triple and a two-run Kaytlin Donaldson single, then another four in the sixth centered around a two-run Vueve double.

"When you lose your last three out of four, the confidence is down," Los Banos coach Dustin Caropreso said. "You can see it when we're out there. The morale is down. But the greatest thing about it is we still get to play. Our season's not over with."

Enterprise reporter David Witte can be reached by phone at 388-6565 or by e-mail at sports@losbanosenterprise.com

Enterprise reporter David Witte can be reached by phone at 388-6565 or by e-mail at sports@losbanosenterprise.com

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