Winning a championship is never easy and the Jets needed every bit of their experience, skill, and clutch effort to prevail over an excellent Titans team in the Revere Youth Softball League finals.
Manager Tom Simpson’s Jets, led by their excellent battery of pitcher Cate Morgan and catcher Vanessa Simpson, edged the Titans, 13-9, in the decisive third game of the best-of-three series Sunday at Ardagna Field.
The Jets had won Game 1 by a 11-7 score before the Titans prevailed by a 16-15 margin in Game 2, setting up a winner-take-all showdown that was played in front of spectators that watched the game from beyond the outfield fence due to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines.
Morgan was the winning pitcher in two games, going the six-inning route to complete a terrific season as the ace on the Jets’ staff. The Jets went 13-2 during the regular season to earn the No. 1 seed in the playoffs.
Vanessa Simpson, daughter of the Jets’ manager, was an unstoppable batter in the playoffs, producing basehits, runs batted in, runs, and walks while also excelling on defense behind the plate. Simpson, last year’s MVP, has been the premier catcher in the league for the past two seasons.
Lea Doucette led the Jets’ superb defense at first base. “She played an unbelievable first base – she was our defensive star,” said Tom Simpson. “Lea, Vanessa, and Cate are the heart of the team. They were our leaders.”
Layla Hiduchick, Danni Hope Randall, and Lucy Boncore all had clutch hits in the playoffs.
The Jets merged this season with the Flyers, who won the championship last year. Celebrating back-to-back titles were shortstop Grace Fox, centerfielder Danni Hope Randall, Marisella D’Amelio, and Layla Hiduchick. Chloe Scoppettuolo was a talented newcomer to the Jets’ roster.
Simpson credited assistant coach, Brandy Jo Neil, for her work as a pitching coach for the Jets. “She helped out so much with our pitchers and the girls loved her,” said Simpson.
“It was a team effort,” said Cate Morgan, whose brother, Mike Morgan, won a Babe Ruth championship this summer with the Mustangs. “I thank Brandy Joe for helping me out all year.”
Titans coach Danny Dacey congratulated the Jets and said it was “a great series.”
“It was a lot of fun and my players gave 100 percent,” said Dacey, who singled pitcher Chloe Celona, Jocelyn Nugent, and first baseman Frankie Reed for their outstanding play all season.