Empire roundup: No. 1 seed SRJC opens playoffs Friday


Earning the NorCal top seed in the state playoffs, Santa Rosa Junior College hosts Los Medanos today in an opening-round series.

The first game is at 2 p.m. today. Game 2 is 11 a.m. Saturday and a third game, if necessary, would immediately follow.

The California Community College Athletic Association tournament features 32 teams split between Southern California and Northern California. Teams play best-of-three series in the first round. Winners this weekend advance to four-team, double-elimination super regionals in a week.

Santa Rosa is set up for a playoff run. The Bear Cubs last won the state title in 2005.

The top seed was awarded to Santa Rosa after winning the Big 8 Conference, one of the state’s toughest. Five conference teams made the NorCal regionals including No. 2 seed Sierra. Santa Rosa finished even with Sierra in conference play, but took the season series between the schools.

Santa Rosa is 28-6-1 overall. Los Medanos, from the Bay Valley Conference, is 19-18 after winning a play-in game against Mission College.


Sonoma State softball enters the California Collegiate Athletic Association tournament with a record seven players earning conference honors.

Sonoma State (35-17) is ranked fourth in the NCAA Division II West Region poll as the Seawolves seek the program’s fifth consecutive NCAA tournament appearance. The top eight teams in the final poll qualify for the national tournament.

First the Seawolves want to finish strong in the conference tournament. Sonoma State is the third seed and opens today against No. 2 seed UC San Diego. Also in the tournament are top seed Humboldt State and four seed Cal State Dominguez Hills.

The double-elimination tournament runs through Sunday, in Stockton. Sonoma State won the conference tournament in 2010 and 2011.

Leading the Seawolves is senior Samantha Lipperd, voted the conference’s Pitcher of the Year for the second time in as many seasons. Sophomore second baseman Holli Brown, sophomore shortstop Ancia Purdy and senior outfielder Vanessa Currie were named to the All-CCAA First Team.

Named to the second team were sophomore catcher Keisi Chinen, senior first baseman Ali Palermo, junior utility player Hayley Condon and Lipperd.

The seven all-conference picks tops the previous record of six for Sonoma State, in both 2010 and 2011.

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