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

It was a strange week of softball in the state’s toughest community college softball league.

Three teams entered the week unbeaten in Coast Conference play. Reigning state champion College of San Mateo took care of business in Thursday’s first showdown with state No. 4-ranked Monterey Peninsula, smacking the Lobos 10-1 at College Heights.

Sixth-ranked CSM walked it off in the bottom of the sixth inning with a two-run triple by returning state women’s athlete of the year Lafu Malepeai bringing in Mariah Norris and Vanessa Lang for the mercy eight-run margin to end it. Malepeai and Gabrielle Perez had three RBIs apiece. Malepeai also stole a pair of bases.

That set the stage for a Saturday makeup of an earlier rain-postponed contest at state No. 12 West Valley College in Saratoga. Emma Courtney’s two-run home run in the fourth inning gave the host Vikings a 3-0 lead from which CSM did not respond. The Bulldogs were limited to four hits and suffered their only shutout of a 26-5 campaign in 2023.

West Valley improved its Coast leadership position in a Monday makeup contest, edging Monterey Peninsula, 1-0. San Mateo is now alone in second place alone at 7-1, following Monday’s 12-4 mercy drilling of Cabrillo College.

Leadoff batter Malepeai got things started by reaching base at the outset and scoring on a wild pitch. She had a state-leading 11th home run to highlight a five-run Bulldogs third inning — also maintaining the state’s top slugging average at 1.188. Malepeai had her 11th double, which ranks No. 6 in the state. She has a .537 batting average.

Monday’s contest ended in the bottom of the sixth when Lang (.432 average) singled home Megan Barstad for the mercy margin.

Siona Halwani (10-2) was CSM’s pitcher of record in all three contests the past week.

West Valley (22-5 overall) now leads the Coast at 9-0, followed by CSM (26-5, 7-1) and MPC (24-4, 5-2) with the second half of league play just underway.

CSM has a non-league contest Thursday in Stockton against San Joaquin Delta College (13-9). The Bulldogs resume Coast play Tuesday, April 11 at fourth-place Cabrillo College (11-14, 3-3) in Aptos.

Skyline baseball sweeps City

Skyline College swept a trio of baseball games with City College of San Francisco last week to move into second place in the Coast North Conference race at 6-3, just a game behind pacesetter Chabot College (7-2).

habot (20-8-1 overall) took 2-of-3 against West Valley to maintain the league lead.

Cañada College won the first two games with College of San Mateo, 5-4 and 6-2, before dropping Saturday’s contest, 6-5. That left San Mateo (21-7 overall, 5-4 Coast North) in third place and Cañada (16-12-1, 4-5) just one more game back.

The county rivalry continues this week: CSM was scheduled to visit Skyline on Tuesday and Saturday in San Bruno, while hosting the Trojans on Thursday afternoon. Cañada’s series this week is with West Valley (12-16, 4-5), on Tuesday and Saturday in Redwood City and on Thursday in Saratoga.

Beane tops podium for CSM T&F in Modesto

Brandon Beane won the men’s javelin with a throw of 161 feet, 6 inches for College of San Mateo at last week’s rain makeup of the Jack Albiani Invitational at Modesto Junior Collge, which will also be the site of the California Community College championships in late May. He now ranks No. 13 in the state.

Dominic Iskander pole vaulted 14-1 1/4, to rank No. 3 in the Coast Conference and No. 15 in the state.

Heart Noble Dean was the top California Community College finisher in the women’s 400 meters, in 1 minute, .79 seconds, improving her No. 4 Nor Cal ranking. She also improved her 200 meter best to 26.51 and ran a leg on the Bulldogs 4×400 meter relay that now ranks No. 7 in the north at 4:17.93.

CSM had limited participation in the meet, due to spring break and the makeup date.