On Tuesday, May 7, it was the final home game for three integral seniors on the Indian River High School softball team. Abby O’Shields, Grace Snyder and Kat Collins have been with the program for four seasons and have helped guide the program to many wins over the course of that time, including a couple Henlopen Conference South Division titles.
Present day, the trio of seniors has led the team in 2019 to a bit of a resurgence as of late, following a bit of a struggle through the team’s first 10 games that saw them with a 5-5 record at the midpoint.
Following a team meeting, the Indians have gone on quite a run, to the tune of six straight wins, and have put themselves back into the discussion for a South Division crown, as well as a berth in the DIAA Division II state playoffs.
“A lot of things are contagious,” head coach Sam O’Shields said after the game. “Hitting is contagious. Attitude is contagious. The seniors have really stepped it up. We had a meeting mid-season, and we went over personal goals and team goals.
“We asked [the players] if they were where they wanted to be, and they said, ‘No,’ and we talked about how to get there. We talked about putting the work in, putting the focus in. We eliminated some of the distractions, and now we are back to being focused and back to playing like I know we could.”
The way they are playing has been impressive as of late, and Monday’s 6-1 win over Milford improved the Indians’ record to 11-5.
Taylor Lipkins led the Indians offensively with a 3-for-4 game, including an RBI and two runs scored. Morgan Bomhardt, Savannah O’Shields and Kayler Townsend also had two hits each in the contest for IR. Brandi Mitchell and Sam Derickson each chipped in a hit as part of the Indians’ 12-hit attack.
Abby O’Shields fired a complete-game in the circle, covering the seven innings, allowing just one hit and the lone run, while striking out 12. She also helped herself at the plate with a 1-for-3 effort.
By Jason Feather