With two consecutive Region XXI titles, it’s clear that the CCRI women’s basketball team has a good coach. Now, an award proves she is one of the best in the nation.
Lady Knights Head Coach Kate Lynch has won the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association 2013 Russell Athletic Coach of the Year Award for the community college level. She was honored at a ceremony on April 8 during the NCAA Women’s Final Four in New Orleans.
This award is given annually to a coach in each of the three NCAA divisions, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and the junior college and high school levels. It weighs team improvement, success in the current season, fulfillment of team potential and the attitude of the coach.
Lynch said she knew she had been nominated, but given the caliber of her competition, she did not expect to be chosen.
“I knew I was up for it but with the people that were up for it with me, I didn’t think I would get a single vote,” she said. “Just to be in that pool of people was an honor in itself.”
Lynch said any success she has had as a coach at CCRI is due to the hard work and talent of her players and supporting staff.
“I really think of this as a team award,” she said. “This is a testament to them, not to me.”
Co-captain Jahira Smith, who had a record-breaking season this year, said, “I think anyone she comes into contact with can tell automatically how she feels about us. You can just tell that in her heart it means a lot to her.”
Lynch credited players like Smith and Jess Randall with getting the basketball program where it is today. With players like these in the lead, the team competed in the NJCAA Division II Championship last month for the second time in two years.
Although they were 1-2 in the tournament, Lynch said the CCRI players were able to make their mark on a national stage.
“The way they played, particularly in our first game, they turned some heads,” she said.
“Some things didn’t go in our favor but our goal was to get there and we made it,” Smith said.
The team is in a strong position for next year’s season, Lynch said, with great players like Alexia Barros, Ahnyyah Jackson and Alison Littles returning.
This is Lynch’s third year at CCRI and her first position as a head coach. Before this she was an assistant coach at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Fairfield University, a Division I school.
Lynch thanked her two assistant coaches, George Hardison and Brittany Brown.
“I wouldn’t have gotten the award if not for my awesome staff,” Lynch said. “I definitely wouldn’t be as successful without them.”
Lynch said she thinks the women’s basketball program at CCRI will continue to do well, as today’s successful players attract tomorrow’s stars. Her focus will remain on helping her team members grow.
“We try to make our players, trusting, loyal and honest,” she said, “because things that happen on the court can translate to off the court.”
Knights hammer Holyoke
The CCRI Knights baseball team traveled to Holyoke, Mass. to play the Cougars for a Region XXI non-league game on Tuesday. The Knights defeated the Cougars 13-0. With the victory, the Knights improved to 19-9 overall and 5-4 in Region XXI play.
Matt Laferriere (Coventry) picked up another win by pitching six scoreless innings, giving up only five hits and recording nine strikeouts. Marc Boutilier (Orlando, Fla.) came on to pitch a scoreless seventh inning to close out the game, with ended in seven innings due to the mercy rule.
Jacob Saley (Trumbull, Conn.) continued to swing a hot bat as he pounded out three hits, had two RBI and scored four runs to pace the CCRI attack. Joe Yankee (Lincoln) had another big offensive game with two hits and two RBI. Ryan Wordell (Little Compton) and Tyler Santaniello (Lincoln) each connected on two run home runs to close out the scoring.
“I was impressed with the defense as the team played its fifth consecutive game without an error,” CCRI head coach Ken Hopkins said. “It seems like everything is finally coming together with solid pitching, great defense, and timely hitting.” The Knights have seven more games left this week, including a huge regional doubleheader on Saturday against conference rival Dean College at 12 p.m. at Fell Field located on the CCRI Knight Campus in Warwick.
Lady Knights’ softball sweeps Southern
The CCRI Lady Knights softball team hosted the Sea Wolves of Southern Maine Community College for a doubleheader on Monday. The Lady Knights swept the Sea Wolves 10-0 and 13-0. With the sweep, CCRI improved to 7-11 on the season.
On the mound for the Lady Knights, Katie Paddock (Providence) got the start and was excellent, throwing five shutout innings while allowing just three singles and three walks and striking out six. Paddock kept the Sea Wolves bats a bay for most of the game, she did get in a little trouble in the third inning with the bases loaded and two outs, but got out of the jam as clean-up batter Kathryn Gilio hit a soft liner to Sarah Deal (North Kingstown) to end the threat. Paddock picked up her second win of the season.
At the plate for the Knights, Deal had a strong day she began the doubleheader by going 2-for-2 with a double, a three-run home run, three RBI and two runs scored. She was helped by captain Liz Coburn (Chepachet) who also had two hits with an RBI and a run scored. Captain Izzy MarcAurele (Cranston) had a single and a run scored and Alex Place (East Greenwic) had a single and an RBI.
The Lady Knights exploded for eight runs in the second inning, capped by a three-run inside-the-park home run from Deal. They added two more in the third inning.
On the mound for the Lady Knights Dara Patton (Cranston) got the start and pitched her best game in a CCRI uniform. Patton threw five shutout innings, allowing just five hits, walking one and striking out.
Offensively the Lady Knights erupted for 13 runs on 14 hits. MarcAurele went 2-for-3 with a two-run home run, a single and two runs scored. The blast was MarcAurele’s third of the season, which leads the team.
The Lady Knights have a doubleheader today when they travel to Brockton, Mass. to play the Warriors of Massasoit CC at 3:30 p.m.
Knights’ golf starts
The CCRI golf team has begun its sseason and has played three matches so far.
On Tuesday, April 9, the Knights had a warm-up match with only CCRI fielding a complete roster, so there were not team scores but individual scores were recorded. The CCRI team score was 358. Individually the scores were Anthony Lovechio (Wakefield) shot a 93, Pat O’Connor (North Kingstown) shot 81, Greg North (Jamestown) shot 86 and Matt Burke (Wakefield) shot a 98.
On Saturday, the Knights traveled to Springfield Tech and went 4-0 on the day. The Knights shot a team score of 329, which was the low score of the day. Individually the Knights were led by Lovechio with a 75 – 18 shots better than his first round of the season –O’Connor shot a 77, Gina Bartolotta (Wakefield) shot an 86 and North rounded out the foursome with a 91.
On Monday, the Knights hosted Holyoke CC and UMass-Stockbridge and went 2-0 with a team score of 331. The Knights were led by Lovechio who shot an 80, Pat O’Connor, who had the low score of the day with a 76, Gina Bartolotta with an 87 and Greg North with an 88.
The Knights are back in action today when they will travel to Holyoke Community College to play Springfield Tech, Dean College and Holyoke in a four-way match beginning at 12 p.m.
Knights’ tennis blanks Bristol CC
The CCRI Knights’ tennis team traveled to Fall River, Mass. to play the Bees of Bristol community College for a match on Wednesday. The Knights shut out the Bees 9-0. With the victory, the Knights improved to 3-5 on the season and 1-0 in Region XXI play.
The Knights played their best match of the season. In first doubles, the tandem of John Chammat (Cumberland) and Sean Gorman (South Kingstown) defeated Justin Torres and Reks Thim 8-1. In second doubles the team of Tim Holzinger (Foster) and Ross Bouchard (South Kingstown) defeated Bruce Oliver and Reks Thim 8-2. Finally, in third doubles, Otniel Lopes (Pawtucket) and Eddie Papineau (Scituate) defeated Brian Archilla and Jacob Dompierre 8-0.
In the Singles matches, the dominance continued. In first singles, Chammat defeated Torres 6-3 and 6-1. In scond singles, Lopes defeated Thim 6-0 and 6-1. In third singles, Bouchard defeated Archilla 6-0 and 6-1. In fourth singles, Gorman beat Tiago Ferreira 6-0 and 6-1. In fifth singles, Holzinger shut out Oliver 6-0 and 6-0. In the final match in sixth singles, Papineau defeated Dompierre 6-0 and 6-1.
The Knights’ next match will be this weekend when they will travel to Bel Air, Md. to compete in the Harford Community College Invitational Tournament.