IR 2023

After 25 years, Indian River returns to softball state final

Benny MitchellHeadlines, High Schools, Sports

IR 2023

Indian River will face Caravel Academy for the state title. The Indians are 19-3 this season, photo by Benny Mitchell

Georgetown – Indian River head coach Sara Powell said their mantra all season has been to be 1% better each game.

The past two games against Sussex Central and Delmarva Christian the Indians have been one run better, which was all they needed to reach the state championship game for the first time since 1998.

The field at Delmarva Christian High School was surrounded as 900 plus spectators watched as the Indians scored a run in the fifth and added another in the sixth to edge the Royals 2-1 in the DIAA state tournament semi-final. Indian River will meet Caravel Academy on Saturday at the University of Delaware. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00pm.

“I am so proud of this group, we have talked all season about the history. In fact I wore one of the girls jackets from 1998 to practice the other day so yes we have discussed how it has been 25 years since IR has won a championship,” Powell said.

The Indians Kinsley Hall and the Royals Kaylan Yoder settled into a pitcher’s duel for the first three innings. Hall finished the game with 15 strikeouts, while Yoder fanned 17.

It was not until the fourth inning that either team threatened when Delmarva Christian put two runners on base with no outs. Maggie Kwiatkowski singled followed by Yoder reaching on a throwing error. Kwiatowski reached third on a stolen base, but the Indians defense stiffened and stranded the two Royals baserunners.

In the top of the fifth Jaya Shaub reached first base on a dropped third strike that got away from the catcher. Shaub advanced to second base on a wild pitch, with two outs Megan Daisey blasted a double to the left-centerfield fence to score Shaub for the first run of the game.

“Megan Daisey just went up to the plate relaxed and delivered for us,” Powell said.

The Indians added an insurance run in the sixth inning. Sophia Scurci singled to lead off the inning and later stole second base. Later in the inning Yoder dove for a bunt, but was unable to make a play as the ball rolled away allowing Scurci to score, giving Indian River a 2-0 lead.

The Royals threatened in the bottom of the sixth inning. Yoder singled and Lily Fetterman drew a walk, Lily Hutt drove in Yoder with a two out RBI single while Fetterman advanced to third. Shaub fielded a bunt and threw to first to end the game, sending Indian River to the state final.

“What a run,” Royals coach Rachel Fetterman said. “I am so proud of these girls and it was so exciting to play in front of such a big crowd like we had here today especially for our school of barely 200 students. Good luck to Indian River on Saturday,” she added.

Indian River will take on number one seed Caravel Academy on Saturday. The Indians beat the Bucs on the last day of the season 3-2, but Powell says they will have to put that game behind them.

“Caravel is a very talented, well coached team. I doubt we will see a similar type of pitchers duel like we did today. Caravel is going to hit the ball, Kinsley will have to keep the ball moving and our defense will have to be ready to field the ball,” Powell said.

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