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Cayla Rivas | The Feather Online

Eighth grader Hannah Villines steps up to home plate to bat in the final Fresno Unified Division III Championship game, May 24.

The junior high girls softball team is named Division III Valley Champions after they defeat Tioga Middle School, 16-5 , May 24.

For the first time in years, the FCJH softball team has progressed past the first playoff game, and made it all the way to Valley Championship.

Eighth grader Hannah Villines plays catcher on the team and this is her second year of playing softball.

“I feel like this team has made amazing progress since our first practice,” Villines said. “Nobody ever expected us to make it as far as we have. After giving our all in every game, I’m so proud of my team and all that we’ve achieved.”

Hope Villines, parent to Hannah Villines and wife to head coach, Steve Villines, has seen the progression of the team as they worked their way up to the championship.

“It has been so exciting to watch the girls’ journey through the past two years,” Villines said. “It’s amazing to see their growth and how much hard work and dedication these girls displayed over the past two years.”

Last year was the first year junior high had a softball team in five years. Head coach Steve Villines has sixth, seventh, and eighth graders playing on the team.

The FCJH eagles went from 0-9 in their 2015-16 season, to being the undefeated Division III Fresno Unified Softball Valley Champions in 2016-17 pre-season and league.

For more Feather photos, visit media, photos 2016-17.

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