1997 Softball Team
Cosumnes River College
The 1997 Softball Team is the first team to be inducted into the Cosumnes River College Athletic Hall of Fame. Although small in numbers and ending the year with only 11 players, the ’97 "Chiefs" epitomized the team concept and played with desire and commitment the entire season, which led to a 50 win and 12 loss season, the most wins in school history. This outstanding team placed in all five tournaments in which they participated, and collected wins over perennial state powerhouse programs like Cypress College and West Valley College. The Chiefs ended conference play with a 14-1 record and were the Bay Valley Conference Silver Division Champions.
Northern California Pitcher of the Year Nicole Groves led the way on the mound with a 25-5 record. She also led the state in strikeouts and had an outstanding .60 earned run average. Pitcher Leslie Holman (12-2 1.02 era) added additional strength on the mound, outstanding defense, and power at the plate. 1st Team All Conference Catcher Marcia Hoaglen, perhaps one of the best catchers the program has seen, led the way behind the plate and contributed as a pitcher whenever needed. Bay Valley Most Valuable Player and 1st Team All Conference Infielder Jenn Handy provided power at the plate with a .369 batting average and a pre-playoff total of 54 RBI’s. Handy also led a scrappy infield consisting of shortstop Jill Layton, second baseman Carrie Spiva and power-hitting first-baseman Maryke Don, (.297 BA, 24 RBI’s). The speed of All Northern California Outfielder Joei Aldrete (.413 BA), and All-Conference Outfielder Jodi Galbaugh (.315BA) and the consistent play of right fielder Sara Wacker provided a solid wall in the outfield. Utility player Deanna Long added depth at many positions.
The Chiefs entered post season play as the number 2 seed, the highest ever for a CRC softball team and won the four team Northern California Regional Tournament in which they hosted. American River College was the first victim falling 6-3 in game one. A strong San Jose City team was next as the Chiefs prevailed 5-0. In the championship game on Sunday, it was San Jose City again. Behind the strong pitching of Nicole Groves and Leslie Holman, the Chiefs rallied from behind in this exciting game with four runs in the 7th inning including a 3 run triple by Jodi Galbaugh, followed by a solo home run by Jenn Handy, and secured their trip to the State Championship Tournament in Huntington Beach. They are the first and only softball team in school history to advance to the State Championship Tournament. Despite a one-hitter and a two- hitter pitching performance by Groves, the Chiefs went 1-2 in the State Tournament losing both of their games by one run.
Much of the success of this team was due to the outstanding coaching and leadership of Assistant Coach Lori Cook. Coach Cook later became an assistant at Baylor University and is now the Head Coach at the University of Texas-San Antonio. Her teams are always known for their outstanding hitting and strong pitching, both characteristics of the 1997 Chiefs!
Hall of Fame 2009