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College of San Mateo has been named the 2021 NFCA Cal JC National Coaching Staff of the Year, the Association announced Monday afternoon. Voted by the Cal JC member head coaches and selected by their peers, head coach Nicole Quigley-Borg and her staff guided the Bulldogs to an undefeated 2021 season.

As Nicole Quigley-Borg made her way home from Georgia after watching five of her former players playing for the NAIA college softball national championship Thursday night, she couldn’t help but be excited for them.

The profusion of softball talent College of San Mateo has exported to the Oregon NAIA ranks is not an accident. Not according to Southern Oregon University catcher Allie Stines. Stines (Capuchino) is one of five CSM transfers set to open play Friday in Columbus, Georgia at the NAIA Softball World Series. Her No. 1-seed Southern Oregon squad also features Cascade Collegiate Conference Player of the Year Lauren Quirke (Hillsdale) and CCC Newcomer of the Year Riley Donovan (Half Moon Bay). The No. 2-seed is Oregon Tech — Southern Oregon’s CCC archrival — featuring Aubrie Businger (Mills) and Mackenzie Driscoll (Hillsdale).

Softball extraordinaire Aubrie Businger was just settling in to her new role with Oregon Tech University last season when sports nationwide were hit with the 2020 pandemic closures. A junior transfer out of College of San Mateo, Businger was batting a solid .323 through her first 10 games with Oregon Tech, as the program closed with a four-game sweep of Carroll College-Montana prior to the season’s cancelation. Now, in maintaining her junior season of eligibility, Businger is batting respectable .367 through her first 10 games — “respectable,” because Oregon Tech is batting .396 as a team — with her Owls off to an unbeaten 10-0 start.

A year after its national title defense was halted midseason, the Southern Oregon University softball team’s roster looks no less imposing. Cascade Conference coaches confirmed as much by making the Raiders favorites to win the circuit again in 2021.

Former Bulldog Softball players Harlee Donovan, Lauren Quirke and Allie Stines have been named to the Southern Oregon University’s All-Decade Team.

Joining the Bulldogs was just the latest step in a path that took the catcher and infielder through the highs and lows of college softball. After signing with powerhouse UCLA — her dream school — out of Sheldon, Moreno redshirted and transferred to the College of San Mateo, a junior college in the Bay Area. Last Friday, she signed her national letter of intent to Mississippi State, signifying a return to NCAA Division I prominence that Moreno was often unsure she could pull off.

San Mateo County community college basketball teams haven’t had a ton of playoff experiences over the last 20 years. But the last two years has seen a renaissance of sorts. Last year, the Cañada men’s team made a run to the Northern California semifinals and this season, both the College of San Mateo men and the Skyline women are in position to make the postseason. “I just want to the ability to play our best basketball in February and March,” said CSM head coach Mike Marcial, who has led the Bulldogs into the playoff race in the program’s first year back after a 36-year hiatus.

Welcome to the Cascade Collegiate Conference, where in recent years the NAIA softball world has been ruled by a pair of Oregon-based programs. What do Southern Oregon University and Oregon Tech have in common? Well, as of this year, it is the College of San Mateo pipeline.

Speed and power — Shea Moreno has quickly impressed in both facets in her short College of San Mateo softball career. The freshman out of Sheldon-Sacramento opened Saturday’s home doubleheader with a bang, socking a leadoff hitter in the bottom of the first inning, already the second of Moreno’s collegiate career in just six games. She added two singles to go 3 for 3 and totaled four stolen bases in the Lady Bulldogs’ 15-0 win over College of the Siskiyous.