The Central California Conference and the Western Athletic Conference squared off on Wednesday to decide the 2016 winner and to showcase the high level of talent from the area's best.
Pitman and Turlock were well represented in the game and all seven of the selected players played their role in the CCC's 5-2 win in the second year of the Paul Leonardo WAC v. CCC All-Star Softball Game at Livingston High.
“Being my first time here, I had a lot of fun playing with all these great players, it was an experience and I am very honored to be chosen,” said Turlock's Tyra Hampton.
The win made the series even at 1-1 after the WAC won, 7-6, last year on a walk-off single in the ninth inning by Ceres' Rayohna Sagapolu.
Sagapolu accumulated two hits and scored a run in Wednesday's contest but that was just half of the WAC's hits combined.
One of those reasons was Turlock's Shelby Frutoz, who had an outstanding freshman year and showed everyone what she is capable of, starting the All-Star game for the CCC and pitching two shutout innings to begin the game.
She followed it with a shutout inning in the top of the seventh and along with Sagapolu and Merced's Liliana Ramirez, were picked as the outstanding players of the game and will receive $500 scholarships after they graduate high school.
“I personally expect the best out of me, so I just really wanted to work hard,” said. “I just try to have to be as solid as I can for my team and just try to be consistent.”
Frutoz, along with Atwater's Megan Escobar and Pitman's Alanah Laupua, limited the entire WAC offense to just a single by Sagapolu through eight innings of work.
“It was cool being intertwined with all the teams and during the season we had a rivalry but we came together were cool against the WAC, which is tough,” said Laupua. “Facing different pitching as well was really cool. Getting your success seen was awesome.”
Laupua, along with Frutoz, stayed calm through their outing.
“I felt pretty good in the game because I play travel ball so often, I am used to pressure situations and so I didn't feel any nerves at all,” said Frutoz, who pitched three shutout innings.
The first run for the WAC came when Pacheco's Jasmine Yruegas walked in the sixth inning and with two outs she stole second and scored when the throw passed second base and skipped past the center fielder and all the way to the fence.
The CCC was able to open up the game with two runs in the first inning off Los Banos' Kiara Azevedo.
Then the stage was set in the bottom half of the third when Pitman's Morgan Aguiniga and Turlock's Jessie Miranda hit back-to-back singles to get on base.
“First I was nervous I didn't know what to expect, but then seeing all my friends here I knew I would have fun,” said Aguiniga who didn't play in last year's game due to injury. “I was nervous then decided I just have to play and relax because usually I was thinking too much.”
Then Ramirez smacked a two-run double to drive in Aguiniga and Miranda and before the inning ended, Pitman's Claire Fountain added an RBI single to score Merced's Ashlynn Chatham and extend the CCC lead to 5-0.
In the ninth inning, the WAC was looking to rally back from their deficit, this time against Golden Valley freshman Marissa Bertuccio and it was Sagapolu who hit a triple to right field and scored on a single by Los Banos' Savanah Valenzuela to cut the deficit to 5-2 in the ninth.
Then Pacheco's Samantha Jacquez followed with a double to left field to put two runners in scoring position with two outs, but Bertuccio was able to get Ceres' Mackenzie Veuve to fly out to end it.