JC softball: Lucchesi leads Bear Cubs to regionals

By TED SILLANPAA
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Winning pitcher Courtney Lucchesi had three hits, including a home run, and four RBIs Tuesday to lead Santa Rosa Junior College’s softball team into the Northern California regionals for the first time since 2006.

The Bear Cubs pounded Diablo Valley College 17-1 in Concord to wrap up third place in the Big Eight Conference. The first-round seedings for the Nor Cal regionals will be determined on Saturday.

“We could be seeded anywhere from eighth to 11th,” said Santa Rosa JC Phil Wright, who took over a struggling team two years ago and immediately built a winner. “I’m just excited for the players. They worked really hard. Our goal was 25 wins and the regionals and they achieved that.”

SRJC is 26-13-1 overall, ranked 10th in Northern California. It finished 12-9 in the Big Eight.

“I got the job and didn’t even have time to recruit last year,” Wright said. “It was a great group of players, a fun group. We just didn’t have great talent. We kept working and trying to get better every single day.”

Recruiting Empire athletes turned things around entering this season.

“We have home-grown players leading our team,” Wright said. “Our top kids are all from local schools that has been the key for us.”

Chauntel Cesna had three hits and two RBIs for SRJCin the big win Tuesday. Megan Winters added three hits, as did Kristi Pierce. Jenna Reed had two hits, including a double, with two RBIs. Taylor Spaulding went 2-for-4 and knocked in two runs.

“It’d be great if we got to host a regional series,” Wright said. “Just getting there is great.”

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