By Lorenzo Recupero
For the first time in a very long time, Pope John and Everett High School will both be sending their softball teams to compete in the postseason.
The Crimson Tide will be entering the MIAA tourney for the first time in three years, while the Tigers are headed to their second consecutive tournament.
And both teams undoubtedly have a lot of motivation to take a hard swing at a state championship.
The Crimson Tide have missed out the last few years, but they’re carrying a mix of juniors and seniors that are finally ready to see what the playoffs has to offer, after helping string together multiple double-digit wins during the regular season. Combine that with a group of freshman and sophomore hitters ready to prove themselves and you’ve got a team prepared to face anyone — and win.
The Tigers made it to the team’s first postseason in over a decade their last time around only to get ousted quickly by Lowell Catholic in the first round following a bye week. The team had only won a single game in 12 regular seasons before last year, but since then have combined for 26 wins (in 36 games). A new era of winning ways, coupled with a hunger to avenge last season’s tourney loss should make this postseason a special one for them.
Team: Everett High School Crimson Tide
Head Coach: Stacy Schiavo
Regular Season Record: 12-8
Last Playoff Appearance: 2015
2018 Seeding: 16th
Maddy Duraes, sophomore, shortstop – 59 AB, .525 BA, 20 R, 16 RBI, 1 HR.
Kaylee Nearen, sophomore, catcher – 66 AB, .454 BA, 13 R, 29 RBI, 5 HR.
Kloey Cardillo, senior, outfielder – 70 AB, .428 BA, 31 R, 9 RBI, 4 HR.
Game Info: Friday, June 8, 4PM @ Glendale Park vs. Newton South.
Word From The Field: Ariana Garay, sophomore, pitcher – “We speak and communicate together as a team on the field and that makes us better.”
Team: Pope John Tigers
Head Coach: Michelle Zullo
Regular Season Record: 14-5
Last Playoff Appearance: 2017
2018 Seeding: 2nd
Alana Rizzuti, sophomore, pitcher – 83 IP, 3.627 ERA, 176 K, 18 BB.
Mackenzie Curtis, sophomore, catcher – 63 AB, .444 BA, 32 R, 3 HR.
Olivia Normil, sophomore, shortstop – 65 AB, .338 BA, 28 R, 3 HR.
Game Info: Saturday, June 9, 6PM @ Edith Street Park vs. Boston Latin Academy.
Word From The Field: Caroline O’Connor, senior, first base – “We are such a committed group of girls. We have such drive and passion to be a part of this team. There’s a lot of energy and love. We stick together as a team and work as one”