The magical second half run of success for the Indian River softball team came to an unfortunate end on Saturday, May 18, when they dropped a 1-0 decision to DE Military Academy in the quarterfinal round of the DIAA state playoffs at Midway Softball Complex.
A first-inning run by DMA proved to be all the scoring they would need bringing about the end of the scholastic careers for IR’s three seniors Abby O’Shields, Grace Snyder and Kat Collins.
“I am so proud of my seniors,” head coach Sam O’Shields said. “They played hard all year. It is certainly hard for the seniors when most of the team is made up of freshmen and sophomores. The seniors are much more mature, and understand the ups and downs of a long and competitive season. Most seniors would understand the coach trying to always do what is best for the team, but some of the underclassmen would struggle with that concept.
“I feel like we grew so so much throughout the season. I feel like the girls were getting better each game, and really came together by the end of the season.”
Abby O’Shields was the hard-luck loser in the circle for IR going the distance, while allowing just the one run on four hits with seven strikeouts. Snyder went 1-for-2 with a walk, and Collins was 0-for-2 in their final games.
Freshman Sam Derickson collected two hits with Brandi Mitchell, Savannah O’Shields, and Kayler Townsend also each picking up hits for the Indians.
IR’s best chance to score came in the 7th inning when Derickson led off with a single, then Jess Rybicki drew a one-out walk to put runners at first and second. Savannah O’Shields followed with an infield single to load the bases with just one out. The threat ended when Townsend grounded into a fielder’s choice with Derickson forced out at the plate, and Taylor Lipkins followed with a game-ending fielder’s choice that had Savannah O’Shields forced out at third.
“What more could you ask for in a game?” O’Shields asked. “Both teams played hard, and went toe-to-toe. Both teams had great pitching, great defense, and a ton of heart. I will say that as far as being ranked the 3rd team in the state tournament, I am not sure why. They were the best all-around team we faced all year — or should I say as good as Smyrna.”
DMA’s Nikki Elliott had two of their four hits in the game. Angelina Delloso and Sam Freeland had the others.
The loss ended the Indians’ nine-game win streak, and had their overall record wrap up at 14-6 overall.
Boys lacrosse: IR bows out to #2 Tatnall in first round
The Indians ran into a buzzsaw in the first round of the DIAA state playoffs falling to #2 ranked Tatnall, 16-3. It was the first postseason appearance for IR since the 2016 season.
Dylan White, Zach Schultz, and Ben McCabe scored the IR goals. White also picked up two assists in the contest.
Tatnall led 5-1 after the first quarter, and 9-2 at the halftime break. They increased their lead to 14-2 after three quarters of play.
The loss brought about the end of the green-and-gold careers of seniors Luke McCabe, Sam Miltner, Patrick Spencer, and Schultz.
IR finished their 2019 campaign with a 10-6 overall mark.
By Jason Feather