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Inside The Circle – Tournament Review

Glenn FrazerHeadlines, Sports

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The DIAA Softball committee released and seeded this year’s state tournament over the weekend for the field of 24. The top 8 seeds received a first round bye into Thursday’s 2nd round. The #1 seed is 2-time defending state champ Caravel Academy. Randy Johnson’s Bucs had won 13 straight before falling to Indian River 3-2 last week. It was the first “in state” defeat for Caravel in two years. Kasey Xenidis and Morgan Maxwell are formidable pitchers to compliment (possibly) the most dangerous offense in the state with Veronica Diomede, Brooke Holdsworth, Haley Grygo and a host of others. Caravel awaits the winner of DMA vs Red Lion Christian Academy in an opening round game to be played Tuesday. 

Delmarva Christian secured the #2 seed as the Royals finished 15-3 with two of those losses coming to Caravel. The Royals are led by Kaylan Yoder in the circle and at the plate. The Liberty commit is one of the top pitchers in the state. The Caesar Rodney – Padua winner will advance to face the Royals. The three seed belongs to Sussex Central. Madge Layfield and the Golden Knights will face the winner of the opening round game between Milford and Charter of Wilmington. 

Laurel is the #4 seed and will face the winner of the Delmar – MIddletown 1st round matchup. Kylee Hill and the Bulldogs snapped a 3-game skid with a 2-1 win over Delmarva Christian in their final regular season game. The 5th seed belongs to St Marks. The Spartans at 16-2 and will get a recent rematch with either Appo or Concord in round two. St Marks shut out both the Jags (5-0) and the Raiders (10-0) as Carly Maxton has not allowed a run in the last 3 games. The Spartans only loss in their last 10 games was 1-0 to Sussex Central. 

Indian River gets the 6th seed. The Indians have won 11 in a row including a 3-2 win last week against Caravel. IR lost early-season (close) games to Delmarva Christian, Appo and Sussex Central. The Indians avenged the regular season loss to the Golden Knights by winning the Henlopen Conference  championship game May 19th. Head coach Sara Powell has I-R peeking at the right time with Kinsley Hall in the circle. They will take on the winner of the opening round game between Archmere and Cape.

The Smyrna Eagles have won 5 straight games including victories versus Sussex Central and Appo. Their strong finish helped to secure the 7th seed.  Smyrna will face either Odessa or Sussex Tech in the second round. The final team to earn an opening round bye is Polytech. The Panthers come into the playoffs with a 9-game winning streak and will take on the winner of Lake Forest and Newark Charter in Thursday’s 2nd round. 

Sixteen teams open play Tuesday and there are some good matchups. Congrats to the field of 24, and good luck to all. 

Here is the final regular season Top 10 for Delaware Live-302 Sports:

1 – Indian River (15-3)  11 straight wins, including 3-2 over Caravel last week

2 – Caravel   (14-2) 31-game “in state” win streak snapped by IR.

3 – Delmarva Christian (15-3) Only losses to Laurel & Caravel (twice)

4 – Sussex Central (15-3) Has won 6 of last 8 games

5 – St Marks (16-2) Has won 9 of last 10 games

6 – Lake Forest (13-5)  Has won 5 of last 6 games

7 – Laurel (13-5) Finished regular season with 2-1 win over Delmarva Christian.

8 – Cape Henlopen (11-6) Has won 4 of last 5 games

9- Middletown (15-3). 10-game winning streak

10- Smyrna (12-8)  5-game winning streak

Others receiving consideration are Milford (15-3, Appo (13-5), Polytech (13-5).

For Inside The Circle, I’m Glenn Frazer

Softball Bracket 2023

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