Sussex Central softball Madge Layfield throws 1 hitter to help her team to advance to the Finals. Photo by Ben Fulton

Layfield throws 1 hitter to advance to the Finals 

Shannon TimmonsHeadlines, Sports

Sussex Central softball Madge Layfield throws 1 hitter to help her team to advance to the Finals. Photo by Ben Fulton

Sussex Central softball Madge Layfield throws 1 hitter to help her team to advance to the Finals. Photo by Ben Fulton


For the third consecutive season, Coach John Wells and the Sussex Central Softball team will compete in the championship game for the DIAA Softball Title. Their opponent is yet to be determined as the Caravel vs. Laurel game was postponed to tomorrow at noon due to inclement weather.The first raindrops fell for us in Sussex County just as the game ended.


On a cloudy day with a light breeze and rain on the horizon, the No. 2 seed Sussex Central Golden Knights hosted the No. 6 seed Cape Henlopen Vikings at Sussex Tech for a semi final matchup. These teams are no stranger to each other competing in the Northern Division of the Henlopen Conference and they see each other at least once in the regular season. The last time Cape beat SC was in 2019 and the score was 14-13.


Today was a pitcher’s duel, as expected. Senior Madge Layfield (SC) and junior Abby Marsh (CH) squared off. Layfield came into the day with 1020 career strikeouts while Marsh entered with 96 for the season as she took over sole control of the pitching duties for the Vikings this season. 


Cape had 2 runners on by walk in the top of the 1st but failed to plate a run. Central would answer in the bottom of the 1st with a double by Takyla Davis, who moved to 3rd on a wild pitch. Ava Brock scored Davis on a sacrifice fly. 


Layfield retired the Vikings with three strikeouts in the 2nd, and in order in the 3rd inning. 

The Golden Knights scored in every inning but the second, adding a run in the 3rd on Davis’ solo home run, and Kruger (PR Gibbs) scored in the 4th on Kiersten Anderson’s single. 

An intentional walk to Davis in the 5th, single by Ava Brock scored Davis, then Layfield drove a home run well over the centerfield fence, adding 2 more runs in the 5th. 


The Vikings would have one hit, a double by Hayden Hudson in the 4th inning. Jay’Lyn Slater scored first on a wild pitch after being walked, Hudson (PR Mekulski) scored when Eden Frederick was hit by a pitch with bases loaded. 


Madge Layfield finished the day with 10 strikeouts, 8 walks, 1 hit, 1 hit by pitch. Abby Marsh finished with 3 strikeouts (99 total for the season), 2 walks, 8 hits. 

Layfield admitted “ I struggled to find the zone today but my offense and defense helped me tremendously. I had a rough inning and they scored 2 runs off me but our offense came back and hit great.”


Offensively SC was led by Davis (3 for 3, 3 runs, 2 RBI’s, solo HR), Layfield (2 for 3, 2 RBI’s, 2 run HR), Brock (1 for 2, sac fly, RBI), Kruger (1 for 2, run scored), and Anderson (1 for 3, RBI double that scored the go-ahead run)


Davis “ I was really patient and I knew from the last game what she was throwing me so I just waited for my pitch and jumped on it. As far as baserunning she said “ I try to stay aggressive and think 2 bases ahead every time I’m on the bag, always getting dirty and trying to get those extra runs for my team.”


Coach Wells was very happy to see the hitting return to “normal”. “We have scored 1 run in 4 out of the last 5 games, so to put up 7 today against a quality team like Cape is nice to see. I’m very proud of the defense with 4 freshmen, 1 sophomore, 1 junior and 3 seniors. We are young but they are making play” Practice tomorrow will be light with only 1 day in between a tough game like this and the finals. We will do everydays, BP, tee work, fielding work with buckets to rest arms, pre-game stuff and we will tweak a few things today I saw that need to be better.” 

As far as the keys to winning it all, John Wells said what we all know to be true about his game, “it starts in the circle, we need Madge to pitch well to keep the game manageable. She had some walks today but only allowed 1 hit. He likes the theory of “get 1 run an inning or more so the other team is always chasing you – you get 1, they need 2, you get 2, they need 3.”  

We will have to wait to see the matchup for the Finals Friday night and who might be chasing Well and his Golden Knights.

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