By MICHAEL COIT
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Returning to the regional top ten, Santa Rosa Junior College softball is making a strong run at a state playoff spot.

Santa Rosa has won three of the last four games to move into the tenth spot in the Northern California rankings of the California Community College Athletic Association. The Bear Cubs were last this high at seventh a month back.

A strong run through a pair of teams behind in the Big 8 Conference standings to complete regular season play would solidify Santa Rosa’s goal to reach the state tournament.

The Bear Cubs’ recipe for success is simple. Santa Rosa has outscored opponents by more than two runs per contest. Santa Rosa pitchers are nearly as good.

Leading the offense is Morgan Taylor, from Rancho Cotate high, with a .420 average. Two of the conference’s top five home run hitters are Chauntel Cesna, from Fairfield, with eight, and Christine Pierce, out of Windsor high, with seven. Both Taylor and Megan Winters, from Analy high, have 14 stolen bases.

Anchoring the pitching is top starter Courtney Lucchesi, from Windsor, with nine wins. Winters has a sterling 2.58 earned run average and shares the team lead in strikeouts at 64 with Lucchesi, fourth in the conference.