The article below originally appeared in the San Mateo Daily Journal and is being reprinted with permission.

With returning state women’s athlete of the year Lafu Malepeai leading the way, College of San Mateo’s defending state champion women’s softball team opened the 2023 season ranked No. 1 in the state preseason coach poll, released Friday.

Later the same day, CSM began play at the Bakersfield Invitational, facing three of Southern California’s top contingents.

San Mateo started with a 5-inning, 10-2 mercy-rule triumph over state No. 7 Santiago Canyon, as Malepeai was perfect (3-for-3) at the plate with two RBIs and scoring twice.

The Bulldogs had little time to savor the top nod, then facing state No. 2 Mt. San Antonio College in an early match of the top teams from both regions. The score was tied at 4 runs each when the Mounties tallied twice in the bottom of the fifth inning and held on for a 6-4 triumph.

San Mateo finished play on Saturday, turning back host at state No. 15 Bakersfield, 13-5, with Malepeai getting three more hits and scoring twice.

Freshman Michelle Hara, a former South San Francisco High teammate with Malepeai, had three hits, including two doubles with four RBIs and scored twice. Both are hitting .600 after the weekend. Designated player and freshman Megan Barstad, out of Woodside High, added two hits and two runs and is batting .500.

San Mateo begins its home season on Thursday, hosting Folsom Lake at 2 p.m.; also will entertain Santa Rosa JC and Shasta on Saturday.


The County’s community college baseball teams are off to a 6-1 start. It took a second straight walkoff for College of San Mateo to stay unbeaten (3-0) with a 7-6 victory over College of the Siskiyous on Monday, following a 4-3 triumph in 11 innings on Sunday.

On Monday, Siskiyous broke a 5-5 tie with a single run in the top of the ninth. CSM responded with a pair in the home half to end it. After the Bulldogs loaded the bases, Vincente Feliciano — who had led off the frame with a double — scored on a passed ball to tie at 6. Marcus Aranda had singled behind Feliciano and was replaced by pinch runner Collin O’Driscoll, who later scored the winner on a single by pinch hitter Aldan Tacias.

That made Trevor Nolan the winning pitcher with three strikeouts in his one inning of relief. San Mateo pitchers had a dozen K’s – while Bulldogs batters had 11 hits.

Keoni Colma had a 2-run triple to highlight a four-run CSM second inning and had a RBI singe in the fourth that provided a 5-3 lead at that point.

Coast North conference teams posted a 12-1 opening weekend record.


Cañada (1-1) has a trio of home games, starting with Mendocino (3-0) on Wednesday and then Santa Barbara (2-0) on Friday and Saturday.

Skyline (2-0) hosts Butte (4-0) for a trio of games, Thursday through Saturday. CSM visits Merced (1-1) on Saturday.


Skyline College has, effectively, taken the County’s season men’s and women’s basketball series.

The Trojans continued their unbeaten skein against their rival colleges last week, staging comebacks to defeat both the visiting College of San Mateo women, 74-59, and men, 66-63.

The second place Skyline women (5-1 Coast North, 14-10 overall), finally broke away from CSM (2-4, 15-8) in the fourth quarter of what had been a back-and-forth game. San Mateo did take the lead at each previous quarter break: 15-12, 30-28, and 49-48.

A 3-pointer by Tatiana Newsome gave the Trojans the lead for good at 54-51 with 8:15 left in the game and started a decisive 10-point run. Only Jayonnah Carter, with eight points, tallied anything for the Bulldogs the rest of the way. She finished with 16 points.

Lala Lautaimi led Skyline with 20 points and 11 rebounds, followed by Camila Solari-Chaman (17 points) and Newsome (16 points, 6 assists, 2 steals).

Skyline had won the first round meeting with the Bulldogs, 68-65, in overtime.

The Skyline men (4-4, 11-11) remain tied for fourth in the tough Coast North after defeating CSM (1-7, 11-11) twice and Cañada (0-8, 5-17) once — so far.

The Bulldogs men appeared en route to victory Friday night, leading by 16 points, 54-38, with 13:33 left in the game following a pair of free throws by JD Carson.

A pair of 3-point baskets by Skyline’s Dominic Wilson and Dimitri Koutsogeorgas quickly closed the gap to ten points.

Following a tip-in basket by CSM’s Tim Netane with 11:24 left, the hoop jammed shut. San Mateo went more than 11 minutes without making a field goal – until a dunk by Kiahn Nice with 17 seconds left to play, which was only the sixth San Mateo field goal of the second half. The only other Bulldogs points over the last quarter of play came on a mere five made free throws.

Skyline, meanwhile, tied it at 60 with a six-point run by Ryan Wilson. His next basket, with 1:39 remaining, put the Trojans ahead for good a 62-61. CSM missed four field goal attempts after that. A lay-in by 6-9 Toyoshige Kano and a free throw by Ofek Sirkis gave Skyline a 65-61 advantage with 25 seconds left.

Ryan Wilson led all scorers with 17 points. Koutsogeorgas (16) and Dominic Wilson (12) were also in double figures. Saveon Campbell led San Mateo with 15 points.

CSM had started the week by easily defeating Cañada,70-53. The Bulldogs doubled their margin, 30-15, at halftime and maintained that edge after the break. Nice and Carson each scored 13 points. Nice had ten rebounds.

The Bulldogs will be at home Wednesday evening, playing the Ohlone College women and men, after trading home dates with the Renegades. Originally scheduled to play at San Mateo the first week of January, the Bulldogs “lost” their College Heights gym to serve as a County disaster center. Skyline hosts the Foothill College men Wednesday at 5 p.m. while Cañada visits Las Positas at 7 p.m.

Skyline has second half showdowns with the league leading CCSF women and men’s teams on Friday evening in San Francisco.