Bart McAfee enjoyed a luxury few softball coaches get to experience.
The Merced coach had two spectacular players on his team who both pitch and play shortstop.
"It's awesome," McAfee said. "It was great having them on the team. When you have two good pitchers like that there is no second guessing."
Together, junior Chelsea Evans and freshman Madilyn Nickles helped lead the Bears to a 14-1 record in the Central California Conference and a third straight league championship.
Evans and Nickles were chosen co-MVPs of the CCC by the conference coaches.
Said one conference coach earlier this season: "I'll take just one of them. Just give me one."
Evans has already verbally committed to Stoney Brook University in New York and Nickles plans to accept a scholarship offer from UCLA.
"Having both of them makes it much easier," McAfee said. "They can give each other a rest. One pitches and the other can play shortstop. They're both good shortstops. Whenever anything is simple it makes it better."
Evans has taken on the big sister role in the relationship with three varsity years of experience.
"Last year I felt like Ashley (Heath-Smith) was kind of like my big sister," Evans said. "I felt I had to be that with Madilyn. I try to help out."
The Bears duo found themselves hitting back-to-back in the batting order at Nos. 3 and 4.
"I thought it was a really big honor," Nickles said. "The fact that I got to share the MVP with Chelsea is pretty cool."
Golden Valley's Shyan Crutcher earned the other top award s the Offensive Player of the Year.
Buhach Colony's Michelle Osmer was named Coach of the Year after leading the Thunder to a second-place finish.
The Bears placed three players on the all-CCC first team in Ruby Quiralte, Megan Kravec and Serina Castillo. They were joined by the Thunder trio of Mary Castillo, Lauren Morris and Catrina Wilson.
Aliyah Ricks (Atwater), Grace Santistevan (Atwater), Alexis Mettler (Pitman), Cady Riley (Pitman) and Nicole Vasquez (Turlock) rounded out the first team.
Local players earning second team honors include: Shelbee Ward (Merced), Kerstin Smith (Buhach Colony), Hunter Gibson (Buhach Colony), Allie Clarot (Buhach Colony), Hayley Lawrence (Atwater) and McKenzie Schumacher (Golden Valley).
All-Central California Conference
Co-MVP Madily Nickles, Merced
Co-MVP Chelsea Evans, Merced
Offensive Player of the Year Shyan Crutcher
Coach of the Year Michelle Osmer, Buhach Colony
Ruby Quiralte, Merced
Megan Kravec, Merced
Serina Castillo, Merced
Mary Castillo, Buhach Colony
Lauren Morris, Buhach Colony
Catrina Wilson, Buhach Colony
Aliyah Ricks, Atwater
Grace Santistevan, Atwater
Alexis Mettler, Pitman
Cady Riley, Pitman
Nicole Vasquez, Turlock
Shelbee Ward, Merced
Kerstin Smith, Buhach Colony
Hunter Gibson, Buhach Colony
Allie Clarot, Buhach Colony
Hayley Lawrence, Atwater
Lexi Lucero, Turlock
Sarah Ward, Pitman
McKenzie Schumacher, Golden Valley
Mariah Gonzalez, Turlock