SRJC softball denied spot in regional tournament

By TED SILLANPAA
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Members of the Santa Rosa Junior College softball program got good news and bad news on Saturday.

The good news was that Taylor Morgan, Courtney Lucchesi and Megan Stroud earned all-Big 8 Conference first-team .

More good news came as Petaluma High’s star senior pitcher Dana Thomsen announced that she’ll play for Santa Rosa JC next year.

The bad news was that the Bear Cubs were denied a berth in the California Community College Athletic Association Northern California regional tournament.

Even though SRJC isn’t in the 16-team regional field, it is ranked ninth in the CCCAA Northern California rankings this week.

SRJC finished third in the Big 8 and the third-place team has earned a regional berth almost routinely over the last decade. On Saturday, fourth-place Delta College was given the 16th and final spot.

“We beat the first place team in our conference (Sacramento City) handily. We beat the best two teams in the Coast Conference badly,” said SRJC coach Phil Wright. “We lost two out of three to Delta and, I just had a feeling Saturday that the last game we lost might cost us in the regional meeting. It did.

While Santa Rosa’s season came to an unexpected end, top Bear Cubs were honored.

Rancho Cotate graduate Morgan was voted first team all-conference as an outfielder. The team captain had a .414 batting average. She started the season at second base before earning all-Big Eight honors in left field.

“She was our best player,” Ford said. “I felt especially bad for her that we had that regional spot we deserved taken from us.”

Ex-Windsor star Lucchesi was the Bear Cubs’ No. 1 pitcher who Ford calls, “one of the toughest competitors I’ve ever coached.”

Stround, out of Montgomery, had a sterling season behind the plate.

Kristina Pierce earned second team honors as an infielder while Windsor alum Jenna Reed was also a second team infield choice.

Outfielder Chauntelle Cesna and utility player Megan Winters earned honorable mention.

Wright was excited to learn that Petaluma’s ace Thomsen is headed to SRJC.

“She’s our No. 1 recruit,” Wright said. “We know that next year we need to go out and get better and take the regional decision into our own hands, not leave it to a decision in a meeting room. She’ll help us do that.”

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