Paul VI Softball looking at vastly improved season

by Marc Narducci | Apr 13, 2022
Paul VI Softball looking at vastly improved season

One of the most improved high school softball teams in South Jersey appears to be Paul VI. The Eagles have been highly competitive under coach Dawn Mader, going 9-8 last year, but they seemed to have taken it up a notch this year.

Paul VI began the week with a 4-0 record. That included beating Millville, 8-6 in the championship of the Ron Vinick at Millville.

Mader says the Eagles don’t have a No. 1 pitcher, that she considers both of her main starters to be No. 1 caliber and for good reason.

The pitchers are senior McKendamin Champion, who goes by “Mac” and sophomore Madison Cooley.

Both have already had to go the distance in winning extra-inning games, each by a 4-2 score. Champion beat Cedar Creek by that score in the semifinal of the Millville tournament, while Cooley was a 4-2 winner in an 8-inning game against Moorestown.

And while the pitching has been impressive, so has the offense.

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“We have a lot of good hitters,” Mader said.

The top all-around player is senior shortstop Lilly St. Jean, a Villanova commit. She is a top all-around hitter and fielder. Through the first four games, she had a team-high eight hits.

Lilly and her sister Lisey, form a potent duo. A center fielder, Lisey St. Jean is a sophomore with great speed and is a true table-setter from the leadoff spot. She was the MVP of the Millville tourney.

Just like the pitching staff, with a senior and a sophomore, Paul VI has a great combination of youth plus experience.

Among the other young impressive players is freshman catcher Morgan Chambers, who hit her first home run of the season in the Millville tournament. She had three extra-base hits in her first four games.
Chambers is already entrenched in the cleanup spot.

The starting second baseman is sophomore Jordan Mader, who bats second and adds great bat control and speed at the top of the order.
Senior outfielder Merry Pavlik had a team-high six RBI in the first four games.

Sophomore outfielder Ella Flood started season 6 for-13 (.461).
Freshman infielder-outfielder Gianna Maiore got four hits in her first five at-bats.

The Eagles compete in the Olympic Conference National Division and have shown why they began the season as the division favorite.

After that, the sledding is difficult while competing in South Jersey Non-Public A, but the Eagles aren’t looking that far ahead.

Right now there will be plenty of regular-season challenges.

The championship in Millville was the first significant team triumph, but if Mader has her way, it surely won’t be the last.

Author: Marc Narducci


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