Most Delaware students had a lengthy Easter break, but the Indian River softball team put in some hard work on the field — winning three of four games and increasing their record to 4-1.
Going into their March 30 non-conference game versus Cape Henlopen, the Indians were aiming to make their three-game run into a four-game winning streak, but fell just short. The Indians fell behind 7-1 in the fourth inning due to throwing errors, but rallied around starting pitcher junior Kathryn Riley late in the game.
Riley struck out three of her seven batters in the last two innings, shutting down the Vikings’ offense. And with two outs in the top of the seventh, Riley stepped up to the plate and a chance to bring in the tying run. She hit a two-RBI double.
The momentum had swung over to the Indians’ side, but they were still down one run. All the pressure was on freshman first baseman Jordan Warrington. She immediately hit into a ground out to the pitcher for the final out.
“We knew we were going to have to score some runs to win the game. We just came on a little late,” said senior All-State catcher Ravin Robinson.
“We scheduled some tough games early in the season in hopes to get better. We kind of fell apart in that one inning, but the girls never got down on themselves and they gave themselves a shot. We put the ball in play and didn’t have any strikeouts, so that is great,” said head coach Mark Browne.
Leading into the March 30 loss, the Indians had traveled to southern Maryland to show what they could do against other top teams.
The Indians had started their Easter break winning streak versus Polytech, defeating them 9-2.
They then squared off with the Calvert Cavaliers and their hard-throwing pitcher, and were able to shut them out, 2-0. Calvert junior Megan Elliott smoked the Indians for seven strikeouts as she hurled her fastest pitches — many of which sounded like explosions as they hit the catcher’s mitt. (Elliott is currently being recruited by the University of California and the University of Alabama.)
“She’s definitely the hardest-throwing pitcher I’ve had to face,” said Robinson. Elliott fanned Robinson three times in the game, so Coach Mark Browne was forced to look for other ways to score runs.
The Indians were able to manufacture runs the old fashion way — by bunting and stealing bases to score. Junior Kayla Warrington laid down a beautiful bunt in the first inning, due to a throwing error, and that allowed the Indians to jump ahead 2-0. Junior center fielder Shauna Jacobs looked like she was running a how-to-bunt clinic as she executed two perfect bunts to go 2-2.
While Elliott was the star everyone came to see, fans had to take notice of the Indians’ hurler: Kathryn Riley. She collected six strikeouts and pitched two complete games for wins, which improves her record to 3-1 on the season. Riley racked up five strikeouts versus Calvert in a shutout effort.
Despite pitching in two consecutive games, Riley didn’t seem to tire even in the second game. In the Glen Burnie game, Riley allowed three walks and only one strikeout in a 3-2 victory. “I didn’t get tired at all,” said Riley. “My wrist is a little sore though.”
Riley was able to force Glen Burnie to hit ground balls to get outs but in the sixth inning there was a strong knock at their door. It was met by a solo homerun by the opposing first baseman.
Kayla Warrington, who had injured her leg covering second base for the Indians, hit a RBI double to win the game. “It was really a great feeling,” said Warrington.
The Indians will host Milford in a conference match-up April 5.