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WCCC taps Mt. Pleasant Area grad as new softball coach

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By John Poole
Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Another former Mt. Pleasant Area alum is making noise in the area.

Rachel Jesso, a 2009 district graduate, will officially take over as the Westmoreland County Community College's head softball coach with the upcoming start of the 2014 season.

After Jesso graduated from high school, she attended the University of Mt. Union in Alliance, Ohio, and majored in biology with a minor in psychology.

She did not only excel academically in college, but on the softball diamond where she played shortstop and third base and was a 3-year captain on the team.

“At first, after graduation I didn't know if I could be around the game anymore,” Jesso said. “I was very nervous but excited at the same time to bring a lot to this softball program.”

The WCCC program has had a lot of success in recent years as it qualified for the College World Series in 2011 and 2008.

“I plan on having a winning season, and our goal is to win our conference,” she said. “I want getting back to the College World Series to be a goal of ours from now on out.”

Jesso has been around the game since she was 6. She has played for 18 consecutive years, and she will now take softball to a different level in her life.

She will have Dan Terlizzi as her assistant coach. He has been with this team for 11 seasons.

“Since I was little, I've had a lot of people teach me the game. Now I get to teach other people what I've learned,” Jesso said. “Bill Stohl was my high school coach at Mt. Pleasant Area, but I've really learned a lot playing on my travel team for the Connellsville Cyclones under Floyd Shroyer. He helped me tremendously.”

The girl's softball team began recently practice.

“When choosing Rachel for the job, (I thought) she was very enthusiastic, and we liked how she was a former NCAA player,” said Dick Holler, the college's athletic director.

“We thought she would be great for our program and restore it to what it once was,” he said.

John Poole is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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