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Locals shine in all-star softball games
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Former league foes unite under one Central California Conference banner to compete in the annual all star games. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ/ The Journal

The fourth annual Paul Leonardo Memorial All-Star Game between the Central California Conference and the Western Athletic Conference was one to remember. The action continued with a CCC shutout of the West Sierra League to round out the afternoon in undefeated fashion.

Turlock and Pitman high representatives made their mark during the game, along with some former league foes.  

Bulldog and Pride athletes became the catalysts for what resulted in a 9-0 first round win over the WAC. They followed up a 1-0 shutout victory over WSL from Livingston High on Tuesday afternoon under triple digit weather.

“It’s a really big experience to just come out here and wear these colors and just a really good way to come together with all the leagues,” said San Francisco State bound Lehua Deleon. “I think we have that connection, we all love each other and we are like family, it’s just we get each other so we are like sisters.”

The Pride had Morgan Aguiniga, Claire Fountain, Kai Deleon and Lehua Deleon on the CCC squad.

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Lehua Deleon of Pitman slides into third base during the fourth annual Paul Leonardo Memorial All-Star Softball Game. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ/The Journal

Turlock’s representatives consisted of Jessie Miranda, Shelby Frutoz, Mackenzie Campbell and Faith Hernandez.

“Always sweet playing with the girls we are always playing against, so our last game to pull the win, but sad since now we are going different directions,” said Hesston College (Kansas) bound Miranda. “Some may never play again, but great to unite with all these players.”

For others this was perhaps their final softball game like senior Morgan Aguiniga—but she took advantage of the opportunity.

“It was bittersweet, but it is always fun to play with everyone from our league at the end and then we all get to play together, one last time to come out on top,” said Aguiniga. “Having the Turlock girls do well is a good way to represent Turlock.”

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Turlock High’s Jessie Miranda bunts during the all star game. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ/ The Journal

Fountain is also moving on to compete in college after signing with George Fox University earlier in the spring. Frutoz has verbally committed to Long Beach State.

Kai of Pitman scored the lone run against the West Sierra League All-Stars in a 1-0 final that was followed by another shutout over the WAC, in a much more offensive game.

The Turlock eight were part of six of the 10 runs scored in both games.

“We are a really big group in the town of Turlock, so we are really talented, everyone is honestly. We came out to play,” said Lehua Deleon.

It took a few scoreless innings to finally get on the board when in the fifth inning, Faith Hernandez scored the first run over the WAC squad to make it 1-0.

Frutoz then smacked a two-run single in the top of the third to make it 4-0 before three more runs were added that extended the lead to 7-0.

Campbell added an RBI in the top of the seventh to make it 8-0 with no outs as Miranda scored then Aguiniga closed it out with an RBI sacrifice that made it 9-0.

Kai Deleon scored the only run of the game against WSL.

Pitman softball finished the year just getting ousted from playoff contention despite an outstanding 16-8 overall regular season record. They also kicked off the year with the best 10-game start in program history going 10-0 before losing a game.

Turlock went 10-2 in the CCC and captured one final league title, earning a berth into the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-I playoffs.

“Definitely I feel the Turlock girls were confident, especially us since we just finished the year as CCC champs but playing with Pitman is always great since we are always head on,” Miranda added. “Next in college I want to break some records over there… as a team, just bring that energy on the field and bring it over to Kansas, so just excited.”