Caravel Academy softball Haley Grygo looks in on a pitch from second base. Photo by Nick Halliday

Inside The Circle: Final week softball Top 10

Glenn FrazerHeadlines, Sports

Caravel Academy softball Haley Grygo looks in on a pitch from second base. Photo by Nick Halliday

Caravel Academy softball Haley Grygo looks in on a pitch from second base. Photo by Nick Halliday

This is the final week of regular season play as teams try to position for seeding in the upcoming tournament. There are many really good matchups this week, and hopefully “mother nature” will allow the games to be played without cancellations.  

No. 1 Caravel (11-1) The Buccaneers anticipated a game with No. 2 Appo turned out to be a relatively easy win 12-2 in 5 innings. The game was close early but Caravel broke it open with 8 runs in the 3rd inning. Haley Grygo was 3-for-3 with two doubles and two RBI’s, while Zayda Rocke also had two runs-batted-in with 2 doubles. Pitcher Kasey Xenidis kept the Jags off balance for most of the night. She also belted a home run knocking 3 runs. The Bucs followed that win with a 6-5 victory against Conrad. Leah Richardson and Rocke both went “yard” in that game. Caravel has 4 games scheduled this week beginning with a 302 Sports broadcast at No. 7 Cape Monday afternoon. 

No. 2 Sussex Central (14-2) Winners of 7 straight, the Golden Knights move up a spot to No. 2. They won a thriller against No. 5 St Marks as Madge Layfield scattered 4 hits and struck out 11 batters. Takyla Davis had the eventual winning hit and RBI with a double in the bottom of the 6th. The Spartans battled back in the 7th with a run scored on a double by Ella Nicholson bringing the score to 3-2. Then with the tying run on third, Lauren Myers made a gem of a defensive play at third base to end the threat. Central completes the regular season at DMA Tuesday, hosting Conrad Thursday and then facing Lake in the conference title game Friday. 


No. 3 Lake Forest (12-2) The Spartans have won 7 of their last 8 games and secured the Henlopen-South title. Lake recorded two shutouts last week as junior Carah Sumpter allowed just 4 hits in the two wins. Sumpter, Katie Pierce, Chloe Revelle and Rylan Rust led the offensive effort last week. Lake has a game with Sussex Tech before taking on No. 5 St Marks Thursday and facing Sussex Central Friday in the Henlopen title game.

 No. 4 Laurel (11-3) Laurel had a 5-game winning streak snapped by Lake in a 1-0 loss that decided the Henlopen-South. Kylee Hill recorded 10 strikeouts and allowed just one hit in her last outing versus Padua. The Bulldogs continue to get outstanding hitting from Bailey Ullman. Laurel has 3 home games this week and one road game. They host No. 1 Caravel Saturday to conclude the regular season. 


No. 5 St Marks (14-2) The Spartans continue to impress lately with a 3-1 win against Appo and a close loss to Sussex Central (3-to-2). Chloe Bedwell doubled, tripled and scored 2 runs for the Spartans in the game versus the Jags. Morgan Hall, Pia Perrone and Bedwell contributed the RBI’s, and Gabby Saggione scattered 9 hits for the win. In the loss to Central, the Spartans had the tying run on third when Lauren Myers made the defensive play at third base to end the comeback. It will be the “battle of the Spartans” when St Marks hosts Lake Tuesday before finishing the regular season Wednesday vs St George’s Tech.   


No. 6 Appo (13-3) The Jags dropped 2 of 3 games last week to top ranked Caravel and No. 5 St Marks. They actually out-hit the Spartans 9-to-5 in the 3-1 defeat. Brianna Russo led Appo with 2 hits. The Jags finish at No. 9 Smyrna Tuesday and complete the regular season Wednesday hosting Newark Charter.


No. 7 Cape (12-3)  The Vikings have a 6 game winning streak since the one run loss to No. 2 Sussex Central. They posted a big victory last week over No. 8 Polytech 12-4. The Vikings scored twice in the bottom of the 1st after the Panthers put up a 3-spot. The inning featured hits from  Alivia Heers, Hayden Hudson and Abby Marsh. Cape mounted a huge comeback in the bottom of the 5th.  They scored 10 runs in the frame on hits as Hudson, Calciano, Heers, Jay’Lyn Slater, Natalya Roundtree and Bri Windish all had an RBI. Abby Marsh picked up the complete game victory (her 10th on the season).  Cape hosts No. 1 Caravel on 302 Sports Monday afternoon then finishes with Padua and Delmarva Christian.


No. 8 Polytech (14-3) The Panther’s outstanding pitcher Mara Everton had her 36-inning scoreless streak snapped by Cape in a tough loss recently. It was also the first loss for Polytech since April 11, a span of 7 games. Rachel Carey, Cheyenne Silvas, and Gabi Brogdon keep contributing offensively as the Panthers have strung together 3 more wins since that loss and finish the regular season with a game at Red Lion. 


No. 9 Smyrna (10-6) The Eagles are trending at the right time with 4 consecutive wins and 7 of their last 8. In the recent streak, they have outscored the opposition 46-5. Their 2-0 victory over DMA in late April, keeps them one step ahead of the Seahawks in this week’s ranking. Hailey McCutchan, Cimone Edge and Kaitlyn Slaney have been “hot” at the plate while Lexi Dennis is picking up momentum in the circle. The Eagles host No. 6 Appo this week and finish at Red Lion Friday. 


No. 10  DMA (11-4) The Seahawks have posted five straight wins to get back in our rankings this week. DMA was impressive in the last 2 victories over Indian River and Caesar Rodney. In the win over the Indians, they scored twice in the 7th to send the game to extra innings, then won the contest with 2 runs in the 9th. The Hawks finish this week with home games against No. 2 Sussex Central, and  Red Lion before finishing on the road at Sussex Academy. 


Indian River drops out of the rankings after the loss to DMA.

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