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Girls softball starts 2014 play
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Displaying the Bulldogs banner during the Manteca Youth Softball Association opening day were, from left, Caitlin Morrow, Marisa Carranza, Terra Blevins and Melinda Anici. - photo by GLENN KAHL

Nearly 400 young girls gathered at Stella Brockman Elementary School’s softball field at 10 a.m. Saturday for the Manteca Youth Softball Association (MYSA) opening day ceremonies.

The teams spread out along the baselines from first to third base where they were visited by the Stockton Ports mascot “Splasher” who offered high-fives to the young players.

 Janell Somera threw the first softball to an excited 11-year-old catcher Bradee Jeffery. She has been playing ball since she was 4 and is now on the Pirates this year.

In November 2013 she was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, but she wants to continue playing ball “because she absolutely loves it,” her parents said. 

Also on hand was Tori Verber-Salazar, chief deputy District Attorney for the county district attorney’s office.

Eleven-year-old Isabella Mayes sang the National Anthem.