The College of San Mateo softball team had not played in the California Community College Athletic Association’s Final Four since 2000.
And their first trip back turned out to be a rough one.
The Bulldogs went 0-2 at the Final Four, dropping games to Palomar and Riverside Colleges, ending their season with a 41-6 record.
In Game 1 against Palomar, CSM could not hold on to leads of 2-0 and 3-2, eventually falling 5-4 in eight innings — putting them with their collective backs against the wall the rest of the tournament.
In that loss, Palomar’s Megan Bartee drove in the game-winning run with a sacrifice fly in the top of the eighth inning. It was a game in which CSM could not take full advantage of four Palomar errors.
San Mateo got the game going in the bottom of the first inning when Bulldog pitcher Michele Pilster (31-4) helped her own cause with a two out single to right field.
That would be the majority of the offense CSM would see for the rest of the game though, despite having runners on base in each inning.
Palomar meanwhile bided its time and finally got their big chance in the top of the sixth. Carlie Daniel led things off with a one-out single, moving to second after a Brenna Parker walk. That brought up Paige Falconieri who blasted a ball over the left-center field fence to put the Comets on top 3-2.
It didn’t last long though as the Palomar gloves betrayed them in the bottom half of the sixth with three errors. The Bulldogs took advantage scoring a pair of unearned runs to go back on top 4-3 — but perhaps they should have done more.
The Comets came right back though and used a one-out RBI single from Daniel to knot the game back up at four scores each.
With runners on the corners in the eighth, Bartee lifted a deep fly ball to center field, scoring the eventual winning run.
CSM got two runners on in its half of the eighth, but failed to score.
The disappointment of Friday’s bled over to Saturday when the Bulldogs fell to Riverside 10-2 in six innings.
The College of San Mateo committed a whopping eight errors in that loss including four in a backbreaking third inning that saw Riverside score four runs.
A Kaylin Stewart two-run home run was all the offense CSM could muster in the game. The homer drove in Selina Rodriguez who had doubled.
Information from the CCCAAstats.org website was used in this report.