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Cañada, CSM Hope to Make a Splash in Playoffs

Baseball and softball teams prep for challenges in first round; CSM swimmers and sprinters excel.

A year removed from a disappointing early playoff exit as Northern California’s No. 1 seed, the Cañada College baseball team heads into the postseason hoping to pull an upset.

The Colts, who finished third in the Coast Conference Pacific Division, landed the No. 14 seed and visit third-seeded Solano in a best-of-three first-round series that begins Friday at 2 p.m.

Cañada (21-13, 15-9 Coast-Pacific), led by lefty slugger Allen Stiles, faces a stiff challenge in Solano (28-8), which won 13 straight games en route to a 20-4 record to top the Bay Valley Conference.

Stiles batted a team-high .413 and led the Colts in hits (62), on-base percentage (.454), slugging (.560), stolen bases (18), triples (6) and runs scored (41).

Cañada will ride ace Darius McClelland, who sports a 7-3 record with a 3.59 ERA in 13 starts.

While this has been a relatively young team, and doesn’t have as much potential on paper as last year’s 30-5 team, the Colts found out the hard way that one can never count out a team in the postseason.

Just like San Jose City last year, the No. 15 seed that upset Cañada, anyone has a puncher’s chance. It takes a day of cold bats and another one of bad pitching for a higher seed to fall. Best-of-three series aren’t very forgiving, so like many coaches say—save your best ball for the postseason.

CSM women cap historic swimming season

A week after finishing up a come-from-behind first-place finish in the Coast Conference Championship, the College of San Mateo women's team made its mark in the state finals at East Los Angeles College over the weekend, medaling in several events. Led by prodigies Andrea Chan (Mills High) and Najelah Najdawi (El Camino), the Bulldogs finished ninth, competing against more than 40 California community colleges.

Chan bronze-medaled in the 200-yard individual medley and the 100 butterfly, and she placed fourth in the 500 freestyle.

Najdawi silver-medaled in the 50 breaststroke, finished fifth in the 100 breaststroke and took sixth in the 50 freestyle.

The Bulldog men were led by Masa Oto’s brilliant performance in the 200 butterfly, his strongest event. The Aragon alum beat out three swimmers halfway through the event to finish third with a 1:53.62 clocking.

CSM's Randy Wright, the Coast Conference Coach of the Year, said this has been his best group of swimmers and describes this year as a special one. “This was a tremendous season,” said Wright. “Top 10 at states … our first conference title. But it's the joy of watching our swimmers win medals at states, earn All-American honors and swim their best when it counts the most that is this season's most defining moment.”

Ross dashes his way to Bulldog record book

Damian Ross entered the CSM track and field record book at No. 8 after posting a winning mark of 10.93 seconds in the 100-meter dash at the Nor-Cal Multi’s in San Mateo on April 20.

For the Bulldog women, Samantha Hoffmann (San Mateo) ran her fastest time of the year, finishing third in the 100 at 12.82.

Mills grad Josh Uikilifi led a medal sweep in the shot put at the Coast Conference Championships in San Jose City College last Friday, placing first with a throw of 48-7.25, followed by Sione Fanaika (45-10) and Tevita Lataimua (43-1.75).

Uikilifi also placed second in the hammer throw at 136-3. Zeke Edwards took a close second the men’s javelin at 164-6, two inches shy of winner Vaughn Aldape-Soratos of Hartnell.

Slippery finish for CSM baseball

The Bulldogs saw their nine-year run atop the Golden Gate Division come to an end, finishing a game behind Chabot. CSM was 3-3 in its last six games, losing to Chabot, West Valley and Mission College.

Seeded seventh in the Northern California playoffs, CSM will host No. 10 seed College of the Sequoias on Friday at 2 p.m. to kick off the best-of-three series.

While the Bulldogs haven’t been the slugging team that propelled them to the state championship game last season, they have played consistently after a 5-5 start to the season—stringing 10 wins in a row in the middle of conference play.

2010 Golden Gate Division Coach of the Year Doug Williams has gone through a tough task this year—rebuilding from a veteran team that reached the state title game.

Williams has once again built his team around pitching, counting three stud right-handers: pre-season All-American Devin Bradley (Carlmont), Clay Bauer and reliever Josh Fredendall (Hillsdale), who has posted a minuscule 0.25 ERA this season.

Bulldog softball visits Shasta in first round

Ending the season in two 1-0 losses and falling a game short of the Coast-North Conference title, the No. 10 seed CSM softball team will visit No. 7 Shasta College in a best-of-three series that begins Saturday at 2 p.m. The teams split their season series in early February.

Sophomores Alyssa Jepsen (Notre Dame), Samantha Pacheco (Mills) and Danielle Brenner (South San Francisco), and freshman shortstop Lindsay Handy (Hillsdale) earned first team all-conference honors. Sophomores Ashley Rincon (Sequoia), Callie Pacheco (Half Moon Bay) and Morgan Elkins (Carlmont) made the second team, as did freshman center fielder Annabel Hertz (Lincoln).

Skyline baseball falls just short of playoffs

The Skyline baseball team (16-19, 12-12 Coast-Pacific) missed the playoff cut, finishing behind Ohlone, Cabrillo and Cañada in a Coast Conference Pacific Division in which spots one through six were very close to each other.

The magic number was four as the Trojans finished fourth in the division, started the season with a four-game losing streak and ended it in the same fashion.

While Skyline had the help of sophomore big bats Grant Nelson (Serra) and Mark Hoem (Mills), the Trojans lacked consistency on the mound, recording their only shutout of the season in a 4-0 win against division bottom-dweller Gavilan.

The Trojans will need a scoring injection next year as their most productive sluggers will be gone. In a division in which Ohlone and Cañada are often stiff competition, Skyline would need to break the .500 mark in order to make the playoffs.

Trojan badminton team eyes future

Skyline badminton currently sits in last place, but has made use of the season instead to look further ahead.

“I would say this has very much been a building year as we only returned two sophomores to the team,” said Skyline head coach Jan Fosberg. “We’re already looking toward next year, building our roster and recruiting young women from the Peninsula.”

Doubles partners Kaide Leviste (Sequoia) and Gimen Lau will attempt to qualify for the state championships in the Coast Conference Finals on Saturday in Fresno, along with Adriane Tomimbang (Capuchino) and Shainal Chand.

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