NCS playoff softball seedings

By PHIL BARBER
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Dennis Lucchesi did his research. The Windsor softball coach looked at the other North Coast Section teams in Division 2. He broke down their rankings and strength of schedule, and after making his informal predictions for the NCS playoff brackets, he told his girls:

“Unless they do something crazy, we’re in.”

Sunday, it was Lucchesi who went nuts after learning that his 12-10 Jaguars had been denied a postseason berth.

“I tell my girls life’s not fair,” Lucchesi said. “But they’re gonna be heartbroken. They work hard. When you deserve to be in there, you deserve to be in there. If you could tell me the words to go tell my girls, I’d love to hear ’em.”

Lucchesi was particularly disturbed that San Lorenzo got the No.14 seed and College Park squeaked in at No.16. In the most recent MaxPreps computer rankings, Windsor is 37th in the section (among all divisions), College Park is 48th and San Lorenzo 68th.

“I know what’s going on,” Lucchesi said. “There’s no respect for the North Bay.”

Well, there is a modicum of respect for the North Bay, with 17 Redwood Empire teams making the playoffs in six divisions. The lineup includes a couple of No.1 seeds, Clear Lake in Division 4 and St. Vincent in Division 5. Both will receive first-round byes, then host games Friday or Saturday.

“It’s the first No. 1 seeding I’ve had here,” said veteran Clear Lake coach Gary Pickle. “Even when we were undefeated one year we weren’t No. 1.”

The brackets include five North Bay League teams (Santa Rosa, Rancho Cotate, Maria Carrillo, Ukiah and Cardinal Newman) and three Sonoma County League squads (Petaluma, Casa Grande and Analy).

Defending NCS champion Petaluma (21-3) received the No.3 seed in Division 2, while Rancho (20-2) got the No.4.

Local small schools in the mix include Cloverdale, Fort Bragg and Lower Lake in Division 4; Calistoga in Division 5; and Laytonville, Rincon Valley Christian and Anderson Valley in Division 6.

First-round action begins Tuesday. This week will see at least a couple of games featuring two Empire teams: Fort Bragg at Cardinal Newman on Tuesday, and RVC at Laytonville on Wednesday.

SOFTBALL THIS WEEK
North Coast Section

Division 1
Wednesday
No. 8 Livermore vs. No. 9 Santa Rosa at Granada High, 4 p.m.

Division 2
Tuesday
No. 9 Clayton Valley at No. 8 Maria Carrillo, 4 p.m.
No. 14 San Lorenzo at No. 3 Petaluma, 4 p.m.
No. 13 Dublin at No. 4 Rancho Cotate, 4 p.m.
Wednesday
No. 15 Casa Grande at No. 2 Alhambra, 4 p.m.
No. 10 Ukiah at No. 7 Arroyo, 4 p.m.

Division 3
Second round
No. 5 Campolindo at No. 4 Analy, TBD

Division 4
Tuesday
No. 9 Fort Bragg at No. 4 Cardinal Newman, 4 p.m.
Wednesday
No. 5 Moreau Catholic vs. No. 12 Lower Lake at Hayward, 7 p.m.
Second round
Fort Bragg/Cardinal Newman at Clear Lake, TBD
No. 6 Piedmont/No. 11 Arcata at No. 3 Cloverdale, TBD

Division 5
No. 6 Holy Names vs. No. 11 Calistoga, TBD
Second round
No. 8 SF University/No. 9 Head-Royce at  No. 1 St. Vincent, TBD

Division 6
Wednesday
No. 4 Anderson Valley at No. 1 Ferndale, 4 p.m.
No. 3 Rincon Valley Christian at No. 2 Laytonville, 4 p.m.