Cape & Islands League Champions Crowned: Lady Lions Get Job Done

HYANNIS – For the first time in school history, the St. John Paul II softball team captured the Cape & Islands League championship title yesterday afternoon with a 15-0, season-ending victory over the Cape Cod Tech Crusaders.

The St. John Paul II softball team captured its first-ever Cape & Islands League championship crown Wednesday afternoon with a 15-0 win over Cape Cod Tech. Photo courtesy Hadley Tate

The St. John Paul II softball team captured its first-ever Cape & Islands League championship crown Wednesday afternoon with a 15-0 win over Cape Cod Tech.
Photo courtesy Hadley Tate

Paced by back-to-back home runs from Madi Doyle and senior Kristen Hayes and the strong shutout pitching of senior co-captain Jackie Smith, the Lady Lions needed just five innings to defeat the visiting Crusaders. Smith added a two-run homer to help her own cause.

Doyle’s second inning lead-off solo shot would ultimately prove to be the game-winner and Hayes followed immediately thereafter with a solo shot of her own as the beginning of a six-run second frame. Smith’s little sister Kasey belted a one-run triple in the second and then came home on her older sister Jackie’s two-run blast that put an exclamation mark on the second frame.

With dozens of parents and a healthy group of fans on hand, St. John Paul II head coach Mike Manley and his girls took a 6-0 lead into the third inning and added nine more runs for good measure.

Leadoff hitter Kasey Smith paved the way with a 3-4 day at the plate, including a triple, double and single and older sister and winning pitcher Jackie came a triple shy of the cycle with her own 3-4 day. Senior co-captain Hadley Tate went 2-3 with a pair of doubles and Sam Carlowicz and Kali Tanguay also went 2-3 as part of the Lions’ 17-hit barrage.

The victory officially ended Nantucket’s perennial Cape & Islands League softball reign.

“I’m pretty sure it’s a first for us,” Coach Manley said. “Nantucket has always been a powerhouse and they won it last year and they’ve always won it as long as I’ve been here. I’m happy for our three seniors (Tate, Smith and Hayes) who got to do this in front of the parents on senior day. But we have our work cut out for us. It’s right back to practice tomorrow.”

The Lady Lions finished the regular season at 14-4 and join both the baseball and boys’ tennis teams as Cape & Islands League champions this spring for St. John Paul II.

Jackie Smith, the Lions’ ace, struck out nine and allowed just one hit in her shutout effort. Jess Grindell had the Crusaders’ sole hit on the day, a single in the first inning.

“Now we just wait for the seedings next Monday and get back to work. Win or lose, we work hard,” Manley said.

— Sean Walsh is the sports editor for www.capecod.com. His email is [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @coachwalshccbm

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