MANTECA — Vaneza Hoover emerged Thursday from the long shadow cast by East Union ace Erin Arevalo, firing her second consecutive no-hitter as Ceres High stunned the Lancers 1-0 in a Valley Oak League softball showdown.
Ceres (10-7, 3-1 VOL) scored in the first and escaped a sixth-inning jam to beat The Bee's top-ranked large-schools team. EU (14-3, 3-1) had won nine in a row.
"I'm on could nine," Ceres coach Donnie Donaldson said. "Vaneza did a great job keeping the ball down. She had awesome control, forcing them to hit the ball on the ground."
Hoover struck out five, walked one, and Ceres played error-free. EU's lone runner was a leadoff walk by Jillian Goulart in the sixth, and after a fielder's choice erased Goulart at second and left a runner on first, Ceres made its lone mental mistake of the day.
No one covered third on a bunt, and pinch runner Meagan McCleary went all the way to third with two out. Hoover retired Kourtni McCall on a comebacker to end the threat.
Arevalo, the state's strikeout leader, had 14 to boost her total to 280. She was touched for a slap-bunt single in the first by Mika Johnson, and after moving to second on a fielder's choice, Johnson scored on Chelsea Lomeli's single to right.
WESTON RANCH 10, SONORA 4, at Sonora — Cherie Niewoehner ripped two two-run doubles and pitched seven innings to lead the Cougars (5-8, 2-2 VOL) over the Wildcats (4-8, 0-4).
MANTECA 11, CENTRAL VALLEY 8, at Ceres — Amber Nunnally's two-run triple snapped an 8-8 tie in the eighth to lift the Buffaloes (10-4, 4-0 VOL) over the Hawks (3-10, 0-4).
HILMAR 2, PATTERSON 1, at Hilmar — Courtney Ramos struck out 14 and gave up two hits, but it was Jessica Willis who secured the Yellowjackets' (9-4, 3-2 Western Athletic Conference) upset of the No. 4 small-school Tigers (7-8, 3-2). With the game tied at 1 after 4½ innings, Hilmar's Alicia Payne drew a two-out walk off Mandy Sifuentes (10 strikeouts) and stole second. Willis followed with a single to bring in Payne, then Ramos made sure the one-run margin was enough for the win.
ORESTIMBA 13, CENTRAL CATHOLIC 0, at Newman — Kara Spinelli lost her no-hit bid on a two-out, check-swing bunt in the final inning, and Juliana Santos homered in her first two at-bats as the top-ranked small-school Warriors (13-3, 4-0 WAC) pounded the Raiders (8-7, 2-3). Candice Caetano hit a two-run homer during a seven-run third.
MODESTO 2, DOWNEY 1, at Downey — The Knights (6-7, 1-4 Modesto Metro Conference) committed two errors during a two-run fourth that proved to be the difference for the Panthers (4-10, 2-3). Both runs were unearned. Winning pitcher Amanda Pridmore struck out 13.
ENOCHS 7, JOHANSEN 1, at Enochs — Kaitlyn Yerby scattered nine hits as the Eagles (8-7, 1-4 MMC) stunned the Vikings (10-6, 3-2).
LE GRAND 3, DELHI 0, at Delhi — Bree Giampaoli hurled a two-hitter and had a two-run single in a three-run fifth as the Bulldogs (8-5, 3-1 Southern League) beat the Hawks (5-3, 2-1).
DENAIR 3, TURLOCK CHR. 2, at Denair — Kortne Bacca struck out 16 and tossed a two-hitter as the first-place Coyotes (3-8, 3-0 SL) nipped the Eagles (4-10, 1-4).
MARIPOSA 2, WATERFORD 1, at Mariposa — Ashlee Guenthart's two-run homer in the sixth rallied the Grizzlies (5-9, 3-1 SL) past the Wildcats (6-6, 2-3). Kate Kehoe hurled a two-hitter.
HUGHSON 10, RIVERBANK 0, at Hughson — Mike Davis scattered five hits and Jake Etcheverry opened the bottom of the first with a homer to lead the No. 3 small-school Huskies (11-5, 5-0 Trans-Valley League) past the Bruins (1-12, 0-5). It was Davis' fourth consecutive victory, and Zack Adams and Caleb Lemings lined two-run singles in the second, staking Davis to a 7-0 lead.
GUSTINE 5, ORESTIMBA 4, at Gustine — Justin Zalinski escaped a bases-loaded jam in the seventh to save the Redskins' (8-4, 3-1 WAC) win over the Warriors (3-8, 0-4). Gustine hit four homers — Clint Manzo hit two, and Ben Griset and David Olson had one — and Orestimba's Daniel Kaster also hit one out.