The article below originally appeared in the San Mateo Daily Journal and is being reprinted with permission.
The College of San Mateo softball team, ranked No. 3 in the state and No. 2 in Northern California, not only ran its winning streak to 27 games in row, it captured the Coast Conference championship with a 3-0 win over second-place San Jose City College Tuesday afternoon in San Jose.
While winning conference titles have become old hat for the Bulldogs, the win clinched the conference title for the eighth time in nine seasons and the 13th time since 2000, CSM head coach Nicole Quigley-Borg said this one was savored by the coaching staff and the team.
“We celebrated a lot today,” Quigley-Borg said. “We haven’t won a conference title since 2019. … It’s almost like a new feeling for me.
“It was really cool for the third-year players who came back who haven’t had a chance to play for a championship.”
The Bulldogs’ 27 wins in a row matches last year’s win streak when they went 27-0 — which, in the end, did not count because of the COVID restrictions that were still in place following the cancelation of the 2020 season after 26 games.
Over the last three years, the Bulldogs have compiled a record of 88-4. They were 24-2 in 2020 when the season was canceled by COVID. In 2021, they went 27-0 and were 38-2 this season.
Next up for CSM is the Northern California regional tournament, which begins May 7.
While CSM (14-0 Coast Conference, 38-2 overall) went undefeated in conference play, the Bulldogs did not clinch the crown until the final day of the season as San Jose (12-2, 26-12-1) stayed a game behind since a 2-0 win over San Jose on March 17.
In Tuesday’s rematch in the season finale, CSM pitcher Kealani Cardona (Hillsdale) shut down the Jaguars, pitching a complete-game, two-hitter.
“She really did what we needed her to do in the circle,” Quigley-Borg said. “If we don’t have a kid throwing 64, 65 miles per hour, striking everyone out, we’ll have a kid who pitches to weak contact. She’s done a great job all year.”
The CSM offense managed three runs, although the Bulldogs rapped out nine hits against San Jose pitcher Jessell Lewis. After four scoreless innings, including CSM leaving the bases loaded in the top of the third, the Bulldogs broke through with two runs in the top of the fifth. With Hailey Meisenbach (South City) and Logan Bonetti (Carlmont) on base, Chloe Moffitt (Half Moon Bay) singled to left to plate Meisenbach with the first run of the game. Gabi Perez followed with another single to left to drive in Bonetti.
The Bulldogs tacked on an insurance run in the top of the sixth on a Lafu Malepeai (South City) home run.
“We all deserved to celebrate,” Quigley-Borg said. “It’s been a long three years. It was nice to exhale.”