When the junior suffered a mechanical breakdown early this season, she was faced with two options: Give in to the frustration or work to gain control of her pitches.
She chose the latter, a decision that has made Ceres a contender for the Valley Oak League championship.
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Hoover displayed her control last week by firing a no-hitter, giving up one walk and not allowing a ball to leave the infield to stun top-ranked East Union 1-0. She also had a three-hitter in a 3-0 win over Sierra and struck out 13 for the week.
"Vaneza has shown great improvement since she had a major breakdown in control," said coach Donnie Donaldson, noting Hoover is 11-2 since that disastrous weekend. "She is one of the hardest-throwing pitchers in the district, hitting speeds in the mid-60s in games. That, in combination with a great changeup and improved control, makes her tough to match up with."
The senior was dangerous whether he was swinging the bat or firing a pitch last week, and his two outings led Johansen to two wins and kept it in the race for the Modesto Metro Conference crown.
Keydeniers fired a five-inning no-hitter, striking out six and walking two, in a 12-0 win over Modesto, then hit a grand slam on his way to a six-RBI performance in a 12-6 rout of Enochs.
"Matt is regarded by many as being one of the better all-around players in our area," said coach Jimmy Davis, adding that Keydeniers is hitting .417 with 12 RBIs and has a 2.63 ERA. "He hits for power and average, can run, throw and catch much better than average. He has a live fastball, in the mid-80s. When he is on with his fastball and off-speed (pitches), he is as tough as anyone in our area."
The Vikings are battling Beyer and Davis for the MMC title and the conference's two playoff berths.
Modesto Christian track
The sophomore has developed a reputation as one of the Stanislaus District's top basketball players in her first two seasons at Modesto Christian. Garza is showing this spring, however, she isn't just a one-sport wonder.
At last week's Modesto Junior College Meet, Garza won the high jump (5 feet, 2 inches), 200 meters (26.86 seconds) and 400 (57.85). She put up her best numbers of the season and was named the co-most valuable girls athlete.
"Good speed (and) exceptional strength, and like all great athletes, a desire to win," coach Craig Top said. "Her start is her weak point, (but) we are working on it. She has not had a tremendous amount of conditioning due to the late start because of basketball."
Garza finished sixth in the 400 final at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Meet as a freshman after setting the Division III meet record the previous week with a 58.17.
The pitcher-infielder was tossed into the fire as a freshman last season, but it was a learning experience that is paying off this spring as the left-hander is enjoying success at the plate and on the mound.
Griset homered in a 5-4 victory over rival Orestimba, then fired a three-hitter with 10 strikeouts -- while going 2 for 4 with a double -- in a 7-1 win over Livingston. The victories kept the Redskins in the race for one of the Western Athletic Conference's two playoff berths.
"He was hitting his spots, keeping the ball inside and using his off-speed pitches," coach Manuel Bettencourt said. "Most people assume he's going to throw curves because he's a lefty, but he's got a good fastball with a zip on it. That keeps hitters honest."
Griset's homer sailed over the right-center field fence, 330 feet away, according to Bettencourt, and it easily cleared the fence for his first homer of the season.