The article below originally appeared in the San Mateo Daily Journal and is being reprinted with permission.
The CSM softball team Sunday won the school’s first-ever state championship in the modern era following an 8-1 win over Sierra College in the championship game of the California Community College Athletic Association at Bakersfield College.
The title capped the 100th season of CSM athletics.
It had been 60 years since the Bulldogs captured a crown in any CCCAA affiliated sport — the 1962 men’s golf team was the Bulldogs’ last state champion. San Mateo won the State Athletic Committee’s golf tournament that spring (led by individual medalist Tom Brigham), capping a run of four straight and six overall golf titles from 1952-1962
In the early years, the Bulldogs did claim unofficial state championships in football and basketball. CSM also had a national/Olympic level track program before there was CCCAA organized state competition that started in the 1950s.
CM’s softball title also comes 50 years after the passage of Title IX, which implemented official women’s sports in competition.
Five Bulldogs earn tournament honors
CSM outfielder Lafu Malepeai (South City), who earlier was named the Coast Conference and Northern California Player of the Year, added the state tournament MVP to her impressive postseason trophy haul.
In five games, Malepeai, who was named San Mateo Daily Journal Athlete of the Year following her junior year at South City in 2019, went 11 for 18, good for a batting average of .611. Five of her hits went for extra-base hit with two doubles, a triple and two home runs. She had eight RBIs, scored seven runs and stole three bases.
Other Bulldogs all-tournament players included: shortstop Leila Velasquez (Moreau Catholic), who was named the tournament’s Gold Glove recipient; designated player/pitcher Chloe Moffitt (Half Moon Bay); infielder Celeste Casillas (Arroyo) and outfielder Bubba Fa’aita (James Logan).
Bulldogs avenge season losses
The Coast Conference champion Bulldogs finished with a 46-4 record and ended up avenging losses to the three teams that beat them this season.
Sac City’s 6-4 win in Game 1 of the super regional snapped CSM’s 29-game winning streak and was its first loss since Feb. 19. The Bulldogs went on to sweep a doubleheader from the Panthers to qualify for the state tournament.
In the winner’s bracket final, CSM took down Mt. San Antonio College, which beat the Bulldogs 6-5 in their season opener Jan. 29.
CSM’s 4-1 win in the state tournament avenged that loss.
In the championship series, Sierra beat CSM for the second time this season, adding a 7-6 playoff loss to the 2-1 defeat the Wolverines hung on the Bulldogs that day in February.
But CSM got the biggest win when it needed it the most, defeating Sierra for the first time this season in the state championship game, 8-1.