The Delaware Tribe softball organization is quickly staking its claim as one of the top travel softball programs in the Delmarva region. With all three of its teams winning Delaware state championships last month, both the 14U and 12U teams have now added Eastern Fast Pitch National championships to their resumes.
The 12U Tribe squad added their USA national title to the mix last week when they swept their way to a 5-0 tournament run, which included a 10-2 beatdown of the Lady Warriors Frey team in the championship final.
“It’s been a pretty good year, not just for us, but our organization,” head coach Dennis Scurci said. “You start with the three state championships, and now we’ve got two nationals. We’ve got some very good kids that are very dedicated to what we are doing, and they are very coachable. This has maybe been the most challenging as far as coaching with motivating with the kids because of everything that is going on with the COVID situation. These kids have had their worlds turned upside down with everything, and they’ve just come out and tore it up all year.”
The Tribe jumped out to a 6-0 lead while batting around in the first inning thanks to four hits and a pair of Warriors errors. Sophie Scurci led off the game with a single, then proceeded to steal second and third base. She would score on a fielder’s choice by Ava Snelsire. Ava Calciano followed with a single that scored Snelsire. Ryleigh Smith joined the hit parade with single of her own to put runners on the corners for Katelyn Mayfield. Calciano would come across on the groundout by Mayfield, and then Jaz Murray — who was running for Smith — scored on a groundout by Katie Lasher.
Baylie Williamson drew a two-out walk, and would score on a double to right by Sam Witte. She would score on an error by the right fielder for the sixth run of the inning.
It proved to be more than enough for Tribe pitchers Gracie Hoban and Hayden Adkins as their teammates made every play defensively to limit any potential comeback attempts. The Warriors managed just single runs in the third and fifth innings.
Hoban went five innings allowing the two runs on nine hits to go along with a pair of strikeouts. Adkins covered the final two innings surrendering just one hit with four strikeouts.
Six different Tribe players each had one hit in the game with Mayfield and Calciano each scoring twice. Witte, Williamson and Murray each saw their hits go for extra bases. As a team, the Tribe collected six stolen bases as well.
In the semifinals, the Tribe banged out 10 hits en route to a 7-3 win over the Mad Dogs. They scored three runs in the first inning, one in the second, two in the third, and another in the fourth. Scurci, Smith, and Lasher each collected two hits. Scurci and Mayfield both scored two runs.
A five-run fourth inning cemented the Tribe’s 7-0 victory over the PA Outlaws in their third game of the tournament. Calciano (triple), Smith, Lasher, Mayfield, and Witte each had one hit in the game with Calciano and Smith also picking up two RBI a piece.
Adkins picked up the complete-game win allowing just one hit with five strikeouts.
Hoban went a full eight innings the first time around against the Mad Dogs 12U squad in the second game in the tournament. She scattered just three hits, and registered six strikeouts in the Tribe’s 2-1 win.
Calciano again swung the big bat with a pair of hits with Smith knocking in both Tribe runs. Parker O’Shields had the other hit for the locals, who had their bats stymied by the Mad Dogs’ pitcher.
The Tribe started their tournament against the same opponent they ended it with … the Lady Warriors Frey. In the opener, the Tribe posted a narrow 2-1 decision with the game-winning run coming in the fourth inning when Mayfield crossed the plate on a wild pitch.
Snelsire had the lone hit in the game for the Tribe, and scored their first run of the game in the first inning. Adkins went the distance in the circle allowing just one unearned run and one hit, while striking out eight Warrior batters.
“This championship was driven by pitching,” Scurci added. “They really carried us to this championship. We really struggled at the plate, but they really lifted us up. Hayden went 11 innings and didn’t give up any earned runs - and only gave up the one run, and struck out 17. Gracie is just intimidating when she is in that circle. They are a little nervous. We had some tight games, and they just never flinched.
“Ava Calciano and Ryleigh Smith led us at the plate as usual, and Katie Lasher (.375) and Baylie Williamson (.333) really came on for us this tournament.”
The five wins runs the Tribe 12U record to 27-8-2 now on the Spring/Summer 2020 season. Scurci is gonna give his girls some time off before they get started back up in September.