The article below originally appeared on MercuryNews.com and is being reprinted with permission.
College of San Mateo softball went two-and-out in the state championship tournament, ending its season on a pair of losses to Mt. San Antonio and Santiago Canyon.
The Lady Bulldogs led only once throughout the double-elimination tourney at Bakersfield College, and just briefly at that. In their 8-6 elimination loss Saturday to Santiago Canyon, the Lady Bulldogs took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first inning. But Santiago Canyon rallied for four runs in the second and led the rest of the way.
CSM attempted a Cinderella comeback in the bottom of seventh and saw the potential tying run reach scoring position. But with runners on second and third, CSM’s leading home run hitter Brooke Ramsey popped out to second base to end it.
“Overall, the team played well,” CSM head coach Nicole Borg said via text message. “We made a few mistakes in Game 1 that changed the momentum for us, but we fought until the end. I’m very proud of this team for never giving up and truly believing they could win up until the very end.”
Santiago Canyon was eliminated in its Saturday nightcap in a 12-4 mercy-rule loss to Mt. San Antonio.
Friday, CSM fell to the losers’ bracket Friday with a 9-5 loss to Mt. San Antonio. CSM starting pitcher Ashlynne Neil got into trouble early as Mt. San Antonio scored five runs in the first inning. After Mt. San Antonio rallied for three more in the top of the fourth, CSM answered with a five-run rally in the bottom of the inning to stave off a mercy-rule defeat.
Lemus paced the Lady Bulldogs, totaling five hits in the tourney. Natalie Saucedo powered CSM with a 4-for-5 showing, clubbing two home runs and notching five RBIs over the two games.
For the Lady Bulldogs, who entered the championship tournament with just two losses on the year, the two-and-out performance doubles their season’s loss total. CSM closes the 2014 campaign with a 42-4 overall record.
Sierra College brought the state championship to Northern California though, scoring a 6-5 comeback win over three-time state champion Mt. San Antonio in Sunday’s series finale. After Mt. San Antonio defeated Sierra 4-3 earlier in the day to force a winner-take-all showdown, Sierra again found itself trailing 4-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth of Game 2.
That’s when the Sierra bats heated up, scoring five runs in the sixth to take a 5-4 lead, highlighted by a three-run home run by Alexis Johnson, her seventh of the year.
Mt. San Antonio tied it on a solo home run by Charlotte Foster in the seventh. But in extra inning, Sierra rallied in the bottom of the eighth to win the state championship on a walk-off RBI single by Kaitlyn Garcia.
Sierra finishes the year with a record of 43-5. It is the first state championship for the Rocklin-based college famed for housing training camp for the San Francisco 49ers from 1981-97.