Softball Playoffs: San Mateo, San Joaquin Delta, Cypress and Mt. San Antonio comprise state finalists

College of San Mateo softball (Photo by David Sanborn)
College of San Mateo softball (Photo by David Sanborn)

Brackets: State Championships | SoCal Super Regional | NorCal Super Regional

SAN MATEO, Calif. - College of San Mateo is back again – in the California Community College Athletic Association Softball Final Four for a fifth consecutive year. The top-seeded Bulldogs (36-6) made short work of three visiting opponents in a weekend Super Regional series, taking Sunday's title game over Foothill College, 4-1       . 

It was the only one of San Mateo's three weekend games to go the distance. CSM beat Taft, 9-1, in Friday's opener and Sierra, 13-4, on Saturday. Both games were called after six innings because the Bulldogs led by eight or more runs.

NEAR NO-HITTER: Madison Mercer (23-4) went the distance for the third time over the weekend, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning (with two outs). The Owls' solo hit, by Mirella Osun, scored their only run -- bringing home Corena Gregorio (who had walked) from third. Mercer then got Casey Glassford to ground out to end the series – and Foothill's season at 36-8. 

Mercer leads all Northern California pitchers with a 1.03 earned run average (No. 2 in the state). The Bulldogs tagged Foothill ace Victoria Pierucci (27-8), state's second winningest pitcher, for the four earned runs. 

Meagan Wells doubled to lead off the game and then scored the first run on a single by Allie Stines. Samantha Dean had the game's only other extra base hit, a double in the fifth frame. She scored what proved to be the game's winning run on a single by Emily Cota.

The Bulldogs got a pair of additional runs in the sixth when Lauren Quirke singled home Gaby Zucchiatti and Stines.

A BIT OF REDEMPTION: Making short work of Peninsula rival Foothill gave the Bulldogs a some consolation for losing the Coast North Conference title to the Owls on an administrative technicality (not involving CSM). San Mateo, Foothill, and Ohlone all finished Coast play in a 3-way title deadlock, splitting with each other on the field. But the conference awarded Foothill a forfeit win over Ohlone, which had used an ineligible reserve player in their win over the Owls.

Foothill, which lost the tournament opener to Sierra, 4-2, on Friday, came back in the losers bracket to eliminate Taft and Sierra on Saturday to reach the finals of the double elimination tournament. The Owls would have needed two wins on Sunday to take the Regional.

REGIONAL STATS: San Mateo smashed five home runs in Saturday's win over Sierra, two by Zucchiatti, who had six hits in the three games, scored five runs, and had three RBIs. She is batting. 556 (No. 5 in the state) and has a .947 slugging average.

Stines also stood out with six hits, five runs, and five RBIs. She leads the state with 22 doubles and is hitting .459. Jordan Davis produced seven RBIs with her five hits (which included a homer and a triple) and scored twice. Lauren Quirke had six hits (including a home run), four RBIs, and scored two runs. Wells is No. 10 in state batting a .496. 

CSM increased its current home field winning streak to 15 games, sweeping through all five regional contests.

(Courtesy Fred Baer, College of San Mateo Athletics)


At 45-0, Cypress heads off to final four after 11-4 win over Palomar

CYPRESS, Calif. -  No. 1 Cypress softball (45-0) will make their 26thappearance in the CCCAA State Championship Tournament this year after knocking off No. 4-seeded Palomar (30-13) in Sunday's CCCAA Super Regional Final, 11-4. The 2017 State Championships will take place this Friday-Sunday (May 18-21) at Bakersfield College. The four team double-elimination tournament will feature the top-seeded Chargers and Mt. San Antonio from the south, along with San Mateo and San Joaquin Delta from the north.

Freshman pitcher Hailey Hoffman (W, 3-0) got the start and the win for Cypress. Hoffman allowed 4 runs on 9 hits in her first career postseason appearance. Destiny Vasquez pitched a shutout with 3 strikeouts in 2.2 innings of relief. "I know I have the right people behind me. Our defense helps out a lot and I really trust this team," said Vasquez. "Hailey played really well. We all knew she was excited for this opportunity and I told her that I knew she'd play great."

Cypress sophomore Jenny Vasquez nearly hit for the cycle. Vasquez finished 3-for-5, including a double, triple, and a homerun, with 4 RBI to power the Cypress offense.

After holding the Chargers to just 3 hits in yesterday's 9-inning thriller, Crystal DesLauriers (L, 23-7), received the loss for Palomar after giving up 7 runs on 7 hits in 4.0 innings. Trinity Fa'asua allowed 4 runs on 5 hits in 3.0 innings of relief.

The Chargers took control of the game early. After a leadoff groundout, Sydney McCollum (3-for-4, 2 RBI) reached on a double to left field. Jenny Vasquez followed up with an RBI double to score McCollum before advancing to third on a wild pitch. Following back-to-back walks, Destiny Vasquez drilled a 2 RBI single to left field, giving Cypress a 4-0 lead.

Cypress added 2 runs to their total in the second before erupting for another 4 runs in the third inning. Leading 6-0 with 2 on and 2 out in the third inning, McCollum slapped an RBI single to center field. With runners at first and third Jenny Vasquez sent a deep 3-run shot over the left wall to put the Chargers up 10-0.

The Comets rallied to score 4 runs in the fifth, highlighted by a 2-run homer to right field by Moriah Lopez (3-for-4, 2 RBI, HR), but it would not be enough. The Chargers added an insurance run in the sixth and went on to win, 11-4.

"They played awesome today," said Head Coach Brad Pickler. "Everybody played well. Hoffman stepped up and everybody hit the ball. We were on it."

The No. 1 Chargers will open up the State Final Four against the North's No. 2-seeded San Joaquin Delta on Friday. Cypress hopes to become the first team in CCCAA softball history to win a State Championship without a loss. 

CCCAA Softball Championships
Super Regional Round
May 12-14 (Friday-Sunday)

Sunday's Results
Northern California
San Mateo Super Regional
College of San Mateo 4, Foothill 1

San Joaquin Delta Regional
Ohlone 4, San Joaquin Delta 1
San Joaquin Delta 6, Ohlone 2 (Ohlone eliminated)

Southern California
Cypress Regional
Cypress 11 vs. Palomar 4

Mt. SAC Super Regional
Mt. San Antonio 8, Antelope Valley 4

Saturday's Results
Northern California
San Mateo Super Regional
College of San Mateo 13, Sierra 4
Foothill 5, Taft 0(Taft eliminated)
Foothill 4, Sierra 3 (Sierra eliminated)

San Joaquin Delta Regional
San Joaquin Delta 6, Cosumnes River 1
Ohlone 7, Diablo Valley 1 (DVC eliminated)
Ohlone 1, Cosumnes River 0 (CRC eliminated)

Southern California
Cypress Regional
Cypress 3. Palomar 2
Santiago Canyon 9, College of the Canyons 5 (Canyons eliminated)
Palomar 8, Santiago Canyon 7 (Santiago Canyon eliminated))

Mt. San Antonio Super Regional
Mt. San Antonio 9, El Camino 5
Antelope Valley 8, Cerritos 3 (Cerritos eliminated)
Antelope Valley 5, El Camino 4 (El Camino eliminated)

CCCAA Softball Championships
State Championship
May 19-21 (Friday-Sunday)
Bakersfield, Calif. 

Friday's Schedule
No. 2 (South) Mt. San Antonio (40-3) vs. No. 1 (North) College of San Mateo (36-6), 5:30 p.m.
No. 2 (North) San Joaquin Delta (39-6) vs. No. 1 (South) Cypress (45-0), 8 p.m. or 45 minutes after Game 1