Inside The Circle – DIAA Softball 1st Round Results

Glenn FrazerHeadlines, Sports

Caravel vs Sussex Central softball state championship, photo by Ben Fulton

The DIAA softball tournament semifinals feature both teams that played in the championship game last year, three of the top 4 seeds, and a team that advanced to the semi’s last year in “bracket-buster” Laurel.

No. 1 Caravel (17-1) hosts No. 13 Laurel (14-6) 5:00.

This game is a rematch of a Caravel win on May 12th (9-4). The two teams were tied at 4-4 through 6 innings when the Buccaneers exploded for 5 runs in the top of the 7th. One of the biggest hits was a bases loaded 2-out double off the bat of Brooke Holdsworth. Brooke went 2-for-4 with 3 rbi’s. Veronica Diomede collected 3 hits and Rylee Maloney added 2 runs-batted-in for the Bucs. Laurel was led at the plate by Ashlyn Ullman (2/3 – 2 doubles + 2 rbi), Baylee Lynch gathered two hits and pitcher Kylee Hill went 2-for-3 while recording 6 strikeouts in the circle. 

In the 3 tournament wins, the Bulldogs defeated Milford 11-2, No. 4 seed Red Lion Christian Academy 10-0, and No. 5 seed Delaware Military 7-5. The team has 27 hits in the 3 games led by Ashlyn Ullman with 3 hits and 5 runs scored, Makenzie Whaley with 2 home runs, 6 hits and 6 rbi. Pitcher Kylee Hill has an awesome “change” that constantly keeps batters off balance. 

Caravel has good balance up and down the lineup but there is no doubt Kendall Browne and Veronica Diomede “set the table” with their speed and ability to get on base. The Bucs are solid in the middle of the order with Morgan Moxley, Brooke Holdsworth and Mikayla Walsh. Handling the bulk of the pitching duties are Brooklyn Richardson and Kasey Xenidis. In the tournament, Caravel came from behind to win 9-6 against Delmar, scoring 3 runs each in the 4th, 5th and 6th innings. Diomede smacked a homer and had 3 hits while Browne “legged out” a triple with 2 hits. In the quarterfinals, The Bucs edged Caesar Rodney 4-2 with Zayda Rocke collecting 2 hits. 

No. 2 Appo (18-2) hosts No. 3 Sussex Central (17-3) 4:00

 These two faced off last season in the quarterfinals as Madge Layfield allowed just 1 hit while recording 14 strikeouts in the 6-1 win in Georgetown. This time The Jags host the tournament game in Middletown. Savannah Laird has not allowed a run in two playoff games as Appo blanked Smyrna 4-0 and Middletown 5-0. In both games she only gave up 2 hits and has struck out 19 total batters . Olivia Marinucci homered in both wins while Hailey Watlington also went “yard” against Smyrna. As a team, the Jags have 12 hits in the tournament. The Golden Knights shut out Conrad 8-0 in the 2nd round and defeated Charter School of Wilmington 8-3 in the quarters. Layfield struck out 14 against Conrad, giving up just 2 hits and no walks. She allowed 7 hits and 5 walks to the Force while striking out 7. Mya Jones is swinging a “hot” bat in the leadoff spot with 4 hits, 5 runs, 4 rbi and a home run in the two wins. Takyla Davis has also homered while Kate Evick, Makenna Messina and the entire lineup have had success as Central has 23 hits in their 2 playoff games. 

Both games can be viewed live through the NFHS Network – powered by 302 Sports. 

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