by Andrew Wheeler, CCCFCA Sports Information
Bakersfield, CA -- College of San Mateo (41-0), ranked #1 nearly all-season long in the California Community College Fastpitch Coaches Association and the top seed out of Northern California, advanced to the semi-finals of the 2015 California Community College Athletic Association State Softball Championships on Friday evening with a 4-3 win over South #2 Cypress College (37-9). The Bulldogs hit three home runs and scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh, and will play the winner of the night cap tomorrow afternoon at 3:00 PM.
Cypress threatened early, loading the bases up with no outs on San Mateo and California Community College Fastpitch Coaches Association State Pitcher of the Year Lauren Berriatua in the top of the first inning. Berriatua settled down, got a pop up in foul territory and then back to back strikeouts to end the Charger threat.
The Bulldogs meanwhile only had one hit through the first two innings, but they made it count. Freshman Christy Peterson came through for San Mateo in the bottom of the second. Peterson took the first pitch she saw over the right field fence to give San Mateo an early 1-0 lead.
Cypress didn't let San Mateo enjoy it for very long though. In the top of third, Cypress got a leadoff double to right-center off the bat of sophomore Khailey Campos. Four pitches later sophomore Alejandra Guillen hit a homer to center field to give the Chargers their first lead 2-1.
Things quickly devolved into a back and forth affair soon after. In the bottom of the third, San Mateo picked up their second hit of the game a two-out solo shot to left-center that knotted the game up at 2-2. In the bottom of the fourth, the Bulldogs did it again, recording their third hit with a lead-off bomb from freshman Harlee Donovan to make it 3-2 on their third hit of the young contest.
Cypress didn't sit on their laurels for long. In the top of the fifth, the Chargers got a lead-off single to center field from Guillen. Freshman Tobi Salzman followed that up with a single through the left side of the field that would be bobbled by the San Mateo left fielder moving Guillen to third and Salzman to second. Facing a full count, freshman Jezz Portillo fouled off a few balls before lifting a deep fly ball to center field that scored Guillen and tied the game back up at three runs each.
The bottom of the fifth and the top of the sixth came and went with neither team adding a run to their scoreboard. In the bottom of the sixth, San Mateo flipped the script turning to small ball to score the game winning run. Donovan led the inning off with a walk, and then moved to second via a sacrifice by Berriatua.
Five pitches later, Donovan made her way to third tagging up on a fly ball to right field by sophomore Leilani Akai. That brought the player who drove in the first run of the game to the plate in Peterson. Peterson swung at the first pitch she saw and infield hit, dribbler up the middle of the field that score Donovan.
In the win, Berritua (27-0) struck out nine Charger batters, while Peterson finished 2 for 3 with a run and two RBIs. For Cypress, Alejandra Guillen (7-2) went 2 for 3 with a pair of RBIs and a pair of scores, but also took the loss, giving up just one run and two hits in three innings worth of work. The Chargers will have to stave off elimination Saturday when they play the night game's loser tomorrow at 5:30 PM.