HADDONFIELD (N.J.) - The beginning of the high school softball season didn't go as smooth as Madison Cooley had hoped in the pitcher's circle. In her season debut, the Paul VI pitcher allowed eight hits, five runs (three earned), and struck out three batters over four innings.
Cooley bounced back in her next start with a two-hit complete game in a 7-1 win over Olympic Conference foe Rancocas Valley on Tuesday. She allowed only one earned run and struck out eight batters in the contest.
Paul VI's Madison Cooley allowed one run, two hits, and struck out eight batters over seven innings in a 7-1 win against Rancocas Valley at Paul VI High School in Haddonfield, New Jersey on Tuesday, April 11, 2023. Chris Baker/D2 Sports Network
"After my first start, I just knew I had to go back and look at what I needed to fix," Cooley said. "I think today showed that the tweaks I made were vital and helped me pitch better."
As Cooley completed the job on the mound, her teammates provided run support throughout the game.
Morgan Chambers sent a blast to left-center field to give Paul VI an early 3-0 lead followed by a sacrifice fly from Cooley to make it 4-0 after one inning. The Lady Eagles added another run in the second inning on a Lisey St. Jean RBI ground-rule double.
Rancocas Valley's lone run came from a Melanie Earley solo home run in the top of the fourth inning. St. Jean, a North Carolina State commit, responded with a home run to straightaway center to get back the run from the top of the frame.
PVI tacked on another run with a one-run double by Quinn Cunningham in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Paul VI's Lisey St. Jean reached base safely all four times with a walk, single, double, and home run in a 7-1 win over Rancocas Valley at Paul VI High School in Haddonfield, New Jersey on Tuesday, April 11, 2023. Chris Baker/D2 Sports Network
Just a season ago, Lisey St. Jean was looking up to her older sister, Lily St. Jean, as a senior leader. This season, as a junior, Lisey took it upon herself to step up as a leader.
"We have a very young team this year," St. Jean said. "The team needed someone to lead by example and I think so far the juniors on our team have done a very good job of that."
St. Jean led by example on the field and went 3-for-3 at the plate with a single, double, home run, and two runs batted in.