After whomping Woodbridge 26-0 on April 15, the Indian River softball team maintained their focus to defeat division rival Delmar 3-1 four days later. The set of wins improves the No. 6 Lady Indians’ record to 8-2 on the season and 3-0 in the conference.
“We were playing at the top of our game. In such a close game, it was important for us maintain our focus. If a mistake was made, then we had to forget about it or it would mess you up,” said junior centerfielder Shauna Jacobs.
After the Lady Indians teed off on an outmatched Woodbridge, Indian River had to be a little more patient and wait for the right pitch against the No. 8 Delmar squad.
“We saw a lot more pitches in this game but we had to wait for that zone-one pitch,” said senior catcher Ravin Robinson.
Robinson hit 1-2 with a walk, a run and a two-RBI double to push Indian River past Delmar 2-1 in the third inning. Junior leftfielder Jen Tyre followed up after Robinson with a two-out fielder’s-choice RBI double of her own, to increase their small lead to 3-1.
The Lady Indians didn’t collect a lot of hits against Delmar but they did take advantage of the opportunities to hit what they could.
“I have to take my hat of to Delmar’s pitcher. We beat one of the best pitchers in the league. We only had five strikeouts, but we didn’t chase and we were able to get hits when we needed them most,” said Head Coach Mark Browne. Delmar’s junior pitcher Brittney Ruark fell to 4-2 on the season with the loss to Indian River.
Not only did the Lady Indians get the hits they needed, they made all the plays necessary in the field to preserve the victory.
The infield has played very well all season but they stepped their play up a notch, allowing only five singles to squirt through. Seniors third basemen Sara Powell and shortstop Jessica Spencer snared every ball in their reach and relayed the ball on the dime every time. On one play, a Spencer throw to first was a bit low and freshman first baseman Jordan Warrington scooped the ball out of the dirt to end the inning.
Freshman second baseman Abi Buchler flashed the leather, displaying her lateral quickness and concentration to corral Delmar’s sharply hit ground balls. One ball, hit deep into the hole toward first base, was snagged and flipped to Warrington for the inning ender.
The final inning ender came in the top of the forth inning: two outs, bases loaded. Pop! The ball screamed off the bat and was on a bee-line for right/center field when Jacobs swooped in to make the final out.
“Shauna’s catch saved the game for us. That hit would’ve definitely scored two runs,” said Browne.
While growing up, kids often dream of making a game-saving play or scoring the winning touchdown, but dreaming doesn’t yield results — practice does.
“I was really nervous when the ball was hit, but Coach Guy has worked us in the outfield and we were prepared for that situation,” said Jacobs.
Jacobs and company made junior pitcher Kathryn Riley’s job relatively easy as she improved her record to 5-2 on the season. Riley recorded three strikeouts and only allowed one run on five hits. That sole Delmar run came in the first inning, but Riley showed moxie on the mound and was able to get out of one of a few jams.
“Kathryn took a big step forward in the win against Delmar. She bore down and mixed her pitches up nicely. She found a way to close the game out,” said Browne.
The Indians didn’t have much time to celebrate as they prepared to host division rival Lake Forest on April 21 and Newark two days later.