Caravel scores late to win DIAA softball title

Glenn FrazerHeadlines, Sports

Caravel softball your 2023 diaa softball state champs, photo courtesy of Ben Fulton

What started out as a pitcher’s duel ended up a 7-0 state championship for the Caravel Buccaneers Saturday at the University of Delaware softball field. Through four innings, Indian River’s Kinsley Hall was “perfect” retiring all 12 batters she faced. Kasey Xenidis of Caravel was pretty special too, keeping the Indians off the scoreboard, allowing 3 hits in her 5 innings of work in a scoreless title game. However, Randy Johnson’s Bucs made some adjustments the second time through the order that led to a 2-run 5th inning and a 5-run 6th frame to secure the school’s third consecutive championship.

Zayda Rocke got the Bucs started in the 5th with a one-out flare to right-center to break up the perfect game. Morgan Moxley followed with a “bloop” to shallow center and Zayda’s sister Leila Rocke brought them both home with the 3rd single of the inning. Those two runs would prove to be all that starter Xenidis and relief pitcher Morgan Maxwell would need as they blanked the Indians on 4 hits. Caravel would add five runs in the bottom of the 6th on singles by Veronica Diomede, Brooke Holdsworth and Zayda Rocke, then Leila Rocke doubled followed by a triple off the bat of Brooklyn Richardson to the right field fence. 

Indian River put runners on in each of the first three innings as Macy Blades singled with 2 outs in the 1st, Kinsley Hall smacked a 1-out single up the middle in the 2nd, and Katie McHale led off the 3rd with a hit but the best I-R could do was strand a runner at 3rd base. Fourth year head coach Sara Powell and her team advanced to the state championship game for just the 2nd time in school history (they won it all in 1998). The Indians were the only team in the tournament to hold the explosive Buccaneer offense to single digits in runs (7) on 8 hits. 

The Rocke sisters paced Caravel with 2 hits each. Leila’s double and Richardson’s triple were the only extra base hits in the game. 

The Bucs secured the program’s record 13th state title and the 5th under Randy Johnson. Caravel had a 2-year 31-game win streak against “in state” competition until they lost to I-R 3-2 in the final regular season game on the 17th.

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