Pirates hunt for coveted fast-pitch softball crown


Jose’s Escape Pirates are heading into the playoffs with top billing. 

The Pirates are the No. 1 squad in the men’s division of the Cayman Islands Softball Association 2013 fast-pitch league. According to league coordinator Marlon Thomas, Jose’s Escape have the regular season crown wrapped before the season finale set for 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the West Bay softball field next to the Jimmy Powell Cricket Oval. 

“The males wrap up their last week of regular season games this coming Sunday,” Thomas said. “Next Sunday, Latinos will play Redimix Patriots in a best-of-three series to determine who plays Jose’s Escape Pirates for the finals, which will be a best-of-five.”  

Jose’s Escape, affectionately called Team Nicaragua by participants, has succeeded behind the likes of Mel Omier, Johnny Johnson Sr. and Denis Martinez. They lead Bradimir Robinson, Alexis Camacho and the reigning two-time champions, Redimix (who are often called team Colombia). Donald Watler’s Latinos, who feature players like Sandi Jiminez, are often called team Cuba and trail the frontrunners. 

The men’s division is coming to a close about two months after the ladies ended play. Cayman Auto Diagnostic Clinic Stingers won their second straight national women’s championship by defeating Cayman National Bank Team Xtreme in three games at the Field of Dreams.  

The Stingers, under coaches Robbie Cribb Sr. and John Cridland, featured talents like Jessica Pawlik, Krystal Arch and Emma Conolly. Team Xtreme, who were coached by Thomas and Rupert Whittaker Sr., showcased players such as Carneth Thomas, Molly-Ann Moore and Daneliz Thomas.  

Most players are coming off a decent showing at the Nicaraguan International Softball Tournament this month in Miami. A male and female team represented Cayman and won six games combined. Cayman has a history of excelling in the competition, serving as hosts in 2009 and winning the men’s title. Marlon Thomas said several players did well this year. 

“Our male and female national teams traveled to Miami,” he said. “There were 12 male teams and seven female teams there from Nicaragua, California, New York, Washington and different areas of Florida. The male team won three games and lost one, ending in third place. The females won three games and lost two, ending in fourth place. 

“Carneth Thomas was home run champion with two home runs. The younger female players – Alikie Kandler, Alisha Forbes and Daneliz Thomas – performed very well. For the males, Mark Chow, Bradley Robinson, Donald Watler, Gerson Henriquez Jr. and Johnny Johnson Sr. represented Cayman well with their performances. Special mention goes to veteran player Ivy Robinson who pitched superb.” 

johnny johnsonsr sept13

Johnny Johnson Sr. steadies the Pirates.

alexis camacho sept13

Alexis Camacho hits well for the Patriots. – PHOTOS: MATTHEW YATES