Lake Forest softball Carah Sumpter throws a pitch during a game. Photo by Ben Fulton

Inside The Circle: Week 6 softball top 10

Glenn FrazerHeadlines, Sports

Lake Forest softball Carah Sumpter throws a pitch during a game. Photo by Ben Fulton

Lake Forest softball Carah Sumpter throws a pitch during a game. Photo by Ben Fulton

Caravel holds on to the top spot and hasn’t played since April 26. Congrats to Lake for winning the Henlopen-South with a walk-off against Laurel. There are only a handful of games left in the regular season and 302 Sports will broadcast Tuesday night’s game under the lights as No. 1 meets No. 2.  

No. 1 Caravel (9-1) The Buccaneers only had one game scheduled last week versus Laurel, and it was postponed. Kasey Xenidis and Appo’s Ayla McCathern is a great pitching matchup for our live stream broadcast Tuesday night. Both teams are undefeated against Delaware competition with their only loss to Rising Sun (MD).

No. 2 Appo (12-1) The Jags “ace” Ayla McCathern was stellar last week allowing just 1 run in three wins. The last 2 games she recorded over 20 strikeouts and only 3 hits in wins over Conrad (11-0) and William Penn (2-0). Coach Brian Timpson is getting good balance from the offense including Sophia Watson (home run versus Conrad), while Kayly Clugston, and Madi Parajon recorded multiple hits in that win. After Tuesday’s game at Caravel, the Jags face No. 6 St Marks and #10 Smyrna as well as Odessa and Newark Charter to finish the regular season. 


No. 3 Sussex Central (12-2) The Golden Knights moved up a spot with a 5-game winning streak, coupled with Laurel’s loss to Lake Forest. Madge Layfield tossed a 2-hitter in the shutout win against Sussex Tech. Cat Hassler collected multiple hits in the win over the Ravens. Sussex Central has 4 games left in the regular season including home games with No. 6 St Marks and Conrad plus road games with DMA and William Penn.

 No. 4 Lake Forest (12-2) Lake secured the Henlopen South title with an exciting “walk-off” win against previous No. 3 Laurel by a score of 1-0 last week. The pitchers duel between Laurel’s Kylee Hill and Lake’s Carah Sumpter was broken up by “slapper” Katie Pierce’s RBI hit in the 7th inning. The Spartans have won five of their last six games to move up two spots this week. Lake has an impressive resume of quality wins (all by a single run) against Indian River, Polytech, Caesar Rodney, and now Laurel. Lake has only one home game remaining (Delmarva Christian) with road games coming up at Milford, Sussex Tech, and No. 6 St Marks. 


No. 5 Laurel (10-3) The Bulldogs lost a “heart-breaker” to Lake last week and thus dropped two spots in our rankings. Pitcher Kylee Hill took the loss as the Spartans clinched the Southern Division title. In the process, the Bulldogs had their 5-game winning streak snapped. Laurel has 6 games left in the regular season, including a “make-up” with No. 1 Caravel.


No. 6 St Marks (12-1) The Spartans are riding a 6-game winning streak including last week’s victories versus (8-6) Charter of Wilmington and (6-5) Padua. St Marks features a solid offense led by Kimorah Neal, Morgan Hall, and Raven Lieske. Others making contributions at the plate include Chloe Bedwell, Ella Nicholson, and Maddie Casapulla. The Spartans will be challenged in consecutive games May 9 thru the 14 against top 10 teams Sussex Central, Appo, and Lake.


No. 7 Cape (11-3)  The Vikings have now posted 5 straight wins since the one-run loss at Sussex Central. The most recent was a “come-from-behind” 12-4 win over Polytech. After the Panthers put up 3 runs in the top of the 1st inning, Cape answered with 2 runs in the bottom half of the first. Those runs snapped a very impressive streak of 36 scoreless innings recorded by Polytech’s Mara Everton. Alivia Heers and Hayden Hudson each had multiple hits in that game, while 7 different Vikings drove in at least one run. Cape has 4 games remaining in the regular season including a home date with No. 1 Caravel on May 13 that will be broadcast live on 302 Sports. 

No. 8 Polytech (11-3) The Panther’s outstanding pitcher Mara Everton had her 36-inning scoreless streak snapped by Cape last week. It was also the first loss for Polytech since April 11, a span of 7 games. Rachel Carey, Cheyenne Silvas, and Gabi Brogdon contributed offensively to give the Panthers a 4-2 lead in the Cape game until the Vikings put up a crooked number (10 runs) in 5th. Polytech has 4 games left in the regular season beginning with St George’s Tech. 


No. 9 Indian River (9-5) The Indians have won 7 of their last 9 games and hold onto the 9th spot in our rankings. Last year’s finalist has only fallen to No. 4 Lake and No. 3 Sussex Central in that span. Four games remain on the slate beginning with Middletown Tuesday.   

No. 10  Smyrna (8-6) The Smyrna Eagles have also been hot lately, winning 5 of their last 6 games. The only defeat was to No. 7 Cape. Smyrna out-scored Delmarva Christian and Caesar Rodney by a combined 30-1 last week. Lexi Dennis recorded 11 strikeouts in the win over the Royals, while Cimone Edge had a monster week going 4-for-4 against the Riders and belting a home run versus the Royals. Smyrna returns to the field Tuesday against Odessa. 


We’re still keeping an eye on (8-4) DMA and (8-4) Conrad as the season winds down.

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