The Chomp Episode 3: A conversation with College of San Mateo softball pitcher, Kealani Cardona

In the Chomp Pod’s third episode, SF State Campus news reporters and hosts, Nick Mazzoni and Jack Davies will be covering the latest in Bay Area sports. Nick and Jack talk about SF State is planning to have sports being back this fall, NFL Draft, where the Golden State Warriors before the NBA playoffs, and A’s and Giants baseball.

Nick invited Kealani Cardona, pitcher for the College of San Mateo softball team for an interview. The CSM Bulldogs are 17-0 and are steamrolling this season, outscoring their opponents 162-17.

 

TRANSCRIPT:

Intro

*intro song fades in* 

 

Nick: Welcome to the Chomp Pod’s last episode of the season. I’m your host Nick Mazzoni.

 

Jack: And I’m your co-host, Jack Davies. 

 

Nick: Make sure you follow us on Twitter @The Chomp Pod.

 

Preview

Nick: Our final episode of the semester features an interview with Kealani Cardona, a pitcher for College of San Mateo’s softball team. We will be talking about the 49ers first round draft pick, the NBA and the MLB. 

 

Current Events News

Jack: SF State is planning to have sports back in action this fall semester! I’ve spoken with the Associate Athletic Director of the school, and all signs point in the right direction, so the school should have sports for the first time in about a year and a half. I wrote an article about fall sports returning, so if you’d like to learn more, check it out at GoldenGateXpress.org. It is now up on the site! 

 

Nick: Let’s recap 49ers draft:

 

NFL Draft

Nick: The NFL draft ended May 1, and a new era for the 49ers begins. With the third overall pick, the Niners selected quarterback Trey Lance from North Dakota State. 

 

Jack: They addressed needs at offensive line, cornerback and running back in the other rounds, so I’m happy they drafted for need even though I think some of the picks may have been a reach. Ultimately, it’s not very often a playoff contender gets to add a 3rd overall pick who has the potential to be one of the best quarterbacks in the league for many years. 

 

Nick: I think it’s a reach to say the 49ers are playoff contenders — they finished 2020 with a 6-10 record. Sure they had injuries, sure they are a season removed from a Superbowl appearance, but what they do this season remains to be seen. 

 

Jack: I love the idea of having Lance sit behind Jimmy Garoppolo for a season to let him develop. Jimmy is good enough for this team to be a contender if he remains healthy, and there’s no point in getting rid of him this season. I think we will see Lance play around halfway through the season though, because Jimmy is injury prone. I am very glad they drafted Garoppolo’s replacement though, because quarterback was the weak spot on the roster. Regardless of what happens, the 49ers are in a great spot for the next several years.

 

Nick: Alright, let’s move over to basketball. 

 

Warriors

Nick: The Warriors are currently 36-33, and with three games left in the season, Steph Curry is doing all he can. The Warriors will make the play-in tournament and could face the Lakers. Anything can happen when you have Steph Curry on your team.

 

Jack: Curry was the Western Conference Player of the Month for April, averaging an absurd 37.3 points per game on 46.6% 3-point shooting over 17 games, in what was a historic scoring stretch. He is on pace to win the scoring title for the second time in his career and has had an MVP caliber season. Unfortunately, the Warriors record will keep him back from winning MVP, which I think will go to Denver’s Nikola Jokic. 

 

NBA play-in tournament

Jack: The NBA playoffs are around the corner and will feature the play-in tournament for the second straight season. The seventh-ranked team plays the eighth-ranked team, and the winner earns the seventh seed. The ninth- and 10th- ranked teams will play each other for the opportunity to play the loser of the 7-8 matchup. Whoever wins that round will get the eighth seed. This adds more playoff games and more competitive play, which is good. Currently, the Warriors would play the Lakers in the 7 vs 8 games if the standings stay how they are. Nick, what are your thoughts on the play-in tournament? 

 

Nick: To be honest, it confuses me. I have no idea what is going on — what I do know is there is a lot of fuss about the tournament from players around the league. In a post-game press conference earlier this month, LeBron James took the opportunity to comment about the play-in-tournament, where he said “Whoever came up with it needs to be fired.” 

 

Jack: The irony there is that last season he said he thought it was a great idea. But now that his team likely has to play in it, he hates the idea. I like the play-in tournament because it encourages teams who would normally miss the playoffs to continue to fight for a playoff spot and discourages the bad teams from tanking. I think a negative is that teams who would normally be the seventh and eighth seeds now have to play extra games to earn the spot and may not get it, but if they lose, then maybe they don’t deserve it anyways.

 

Nick: Okay, now let’s talk some baseball. 

 

MLB Season

Jack: The Oakland A’s were on fire to end the month of April. After starting the season 1-7, they won 13 in a row and did so in a very convincing fashion, with lots of blowout wins. It was the longest winning streak in the MLB since 2017, and was the third-longest win streak in A’s history. 

Currently, they are 21-15. The first two months of the MLB season don’t mean much since it’s so long, but it’s great to see the A’s playing like a playoff team again. I think they will keep it up the rest of the season and make the playoffs for a fourth straight year. 

 

Nick: According to ESPN, baseball player Drew Robinson is now playing for the San Francisco Giants Triple-A affiliate, Sacramento River Cats, The 6-foot-1 outfielder has defied all odds, after losing his eye from a self inflicted gunshot wound to the head last April. 

 

Jack: The Giants are 21-14 and have gotten off to a surprisingly great start to the season. The Bay Area teams are hot right now!

 

Main Story Preview

Nick: OK, moving on to our main story, I spoke with Kealani Cardona, pitcher for CSM’s softball team. The Bulldogs are 17-0 and are steamrolling this season, outscoring their opponents 162-17. Cardona, who has three wins as the starting pitcher, has been dominant. She owns a 1.52 ERA ranked 10th in the conference. She has 29 strikeouts in 27 innings. And she’s just as deadly behind the dish. I watched the Bulldogs’ game at Chabot College on April 23, where she  went crazy. Three-four with two doubles, four RBIs and two runs. After that game, we got a chance to talk, and here’s what she had to say.

 

Interview with Kealani Cardona, College of San Mateo softball player

Nick: Welcome on, I’m so happy to have you on. Tell me about the first time you really fell in love with softball.

 

Kealani: So when I was younger, I played on my first season on a T-ball team with, like all boys, it was like baseball because growing up all my mom’s friends, they all have sons. So I did that. And then I also played soccer. And really, I actually kind of hated both. And then when I was eight, I started pitching. And I think just kind of like, as I got better at that, it became like something that I enjoyed doing rather than like, dreading the feeling of having to go to softball, and then just like being able to be around like all the girls that I grew up with playing softball, just like that kind of like camaraderie and everything, it just became a lot more enjoyable for me.

 

Nick: Going onto college, this is your sophomore year, but you guys didn’t have a season last year, right?

 

Kealani: We played– I’m pretty sure it was 28 games last year, I want to say. We started, we actually got to play in fall and play four-year schools. And then like our actual season started in January. And we have a pretty rigorous schedule. So we were able to get a good amount of games in before Covid kind of ended everything last year, going into it. Kind of just like how they’ve always been on a winning streak, and they’ve always gone to State [championship tournament] and everything, and just been a really good team. I think going into it, I knew it was going to be different in terms of how hard I had to work compared to how hard I had been working in high school and playing a tournament ball. I think I’ve always kind of coasted by and gone by on my athleticism and everything, and even school-wise. Like having to take everything up a notch just because of like now I was like going into playing at CSM and I knew kind of what I was getting myself into. So that I think I really wanted to be able to go to state and win state. And I truly believe that if we were able to finish our season, that we would have won, but obviously that got cut short. But then going into this season, it’s completely different. 

 

Break

 

 Nick: Support the Golden Gate Xpress’ work by signing up for our online newsletter, following us on Instagram or Twitter @ GGXnews and visiting the website: goldengatexpress.org

 

Jack: Interested in advertising with GGX? Check out our advertising page on goldengatexpress.org/advertising. 

 

Nick: Check for us on our Twitter page @ TheChompPod for news and updates. 

 

*break ends *

Kealani: I wasn’t really sure if we were even going to be able to have a season or when we are going to be able to get back on the field, just because of COVID and everything. But our athletic trainers, and kind of everyone at school, worked really hard so that we could come back on campus. And not just us, but all the sports. So it’s a lot different in terms of not being at school, since we’re doing online school. So compared to last year, we’d be at school and go to practice — and that was our day. But now we have to get Covid tested twice a week. There’s a lot more that goes into it this year. But overall, I’m just grateful that we are able to have a season, and I get my year back from last year. So like just like being able to be prepared for next year when it’s a lot more normal I would say

 

Nick: Are you gonna be staying next year at CSM? Or are you moving on?

 

Kealani: I think because of Covid, now I have the option to stay, and it’s just a lot better for me school-wise and [to] kind of developmentally for softball that I stay, just because with all the time that I had off and everything, I’m not where I want to be in order to have an impact at whatever school I go to next.

 

Nick: What has it taught you about yourself?

 

Kealani: The only reason I will fail is because of myself. I think that, or like moreso, the only thing holding me back from my fullest potential would be myself. In terms of kind of not holding myself accountable and doing certain things, just because in that [pandemic] time it was super, like, you had to push yourself or motivate yourself, and I think overall just mental healthwise too, kind of how much I do love softball. And that’s really like something that keeps me going or is like my happy place, and not having it was super hard.

 

Nick: But what do you enjoy the most? Do you like being out there on the mound? Or are you just a hitter?

 

Kealani: I think I enjoy pitching a lot, which is funny but because I do get in my brain so much about thinking negative talk with myself, or just kind of like over stressing myself. So pitching gives me the ability to kind of lose my headspace and go away, but also like staying focused on little things.

 

Nick: Thanks again for joining me. I really, really appreciate it.

 

Kealani: Of course, Thank you for having me.

 

End 

And that was the episode.
This is Nick and Jack. We’re campus news reporters and your hosts for the Chomp.

* Chomp noise *
And with that, we’re signing off.