By Bernard W. Carr

The Gold team, which consisted of many downstate players, literally walked away with a victory in the annual Delaware All-Star softball game last Tuesday. The game was played in Smyrna at the Smyrna Clayton Little League field.The nine inning contest gave each player an opportunity to compete against fellow graduates on a perfect June day. 

Participating players from Sussex County included: Payton and Parker Keeler, Woodbridge; Zoey Coco, Delmar; Carlie Venables and Makenzie Whaley, Laurel; Sage Larimore, Seaford; Lily Fetterman and Kaylan Yoder, Delmarva Christian; Mia Barone, Sussex Academy; McKenna Boyle and Amara Cropper, Sussex Central; Hailey Justice, Laniya Lewis, and Shaniya Lewis, Sussex Tech; Jillian Collins, Kinsley Hall, Lily Hoban, and Jaya Shaub, Indian River. Kaitlyn Horton and Peyton Shields of Caesar Rodney and Ella Hadley of  Brandywine completed the roster. The Gold team was coached by first year head coach Rachel Fetterman, Delmarva Christian; Mike Tkach, Cape Henlopen, and Michael Oberly, Brandywine.

Players from Sussex County high schools participated in the Blue-Gold All-Star Softball game last Tuesday. Photo by Bernard W. Carr

The Gold squad took an early 2-0 lead with two unearned runs in the first inning. They added another run in the third inning to lead by a score of 3-0. The Gold team went on a scoring drought, while the Blue team scored a run in the top of the fourth inning, and later added two runs in the fifth inning on a two-run home run by Sabrie Purnell from William Penn. Purnell’s home run over the center field fence was the only home run of the game. She was later selected the Blue team MVP. 

Each team added a run later to tie the game at 4-4 going into the ninth and final inning. In the top of the ninth, the Blue team failed to score a run, which left it up to the Gold team to try for the victory. The game would end in a tie if the Gold could not score. The first batter, Ella Hadley, reached first base after an infield error by the Blue team. Hadley reached third base on a single by Jaya Schaub, who stole to second base. After two batters had struck out, Shaniya Lewis drew an intentional walk which loaded the bases. Laniya Lewis was the next batter and was walked, which allowed Hadley to score the winning run from third base. Shaniya Lewis was selected as the Gold MVP. She hit a double, single, drew a walk, and scored a run.

Delmarva Christian’s Kaylan Yoder entered the contest at the top of the seventh inning with the score tied at 4-4 and preceded to strike out eight batters during the remainder of the game. Yoder was named the Delaware Player of the Year. She has signed with Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. to continue her softball career. 

“I think I did well, and was happy with my pitches. This was a fun game. I’m glad I was selected to play,” she said.

The two other Gold pitchers were Hailey Justice, who struck out three batters, and Kinsley Hall.