PIKE CREEK – Third-seeded Delaware Military Academy scored four runs in the first inning and held on to beat No. 14 Padua, 4-1, in the opening round of the DiAA softball state tournament on May 21 at the Midway Softball Complex. It’s the second straight year that the Seahawks beat the Pandas in the first round.
The Pandas almost took the lead in the top of the first as Zoey Jones hit a ball 350 feet, but it was just foul. The Seahawks got busy against Padua junior pitcher Mel Grant in the bottom of the first inning as freshmen Abigail Montgomery led off with a bunt single. She stole second and advanced to third on a single by Ashley Conaty. Nicole Eliiott followed with a run-scoring single to give the Seahawks the 1-0 lead. Clare Henry followed with a three-run bomb as it chased cars in the parking lot.
The Pandas got one back in the top of the second as Katie Twardowski hit a two-out double and scored on a single by freshmen Hailey Brooks. Grant settled down on the mound, scattering three hits over the next three innings to keep the Pandas in it.
The Pandas’ offense, however, could not solve Seahawks pitcher Delani Sheehan. She gave up a hit in the third and in the fifth but otherwise shut opposing batters down. The Seahawks tried to add a run in the sixth, but Gabriela Frabizzio throw out Brooke Conaty at the plate on a double by Sheehan.
In the seventh, Padua got a one-out hit from Twardowski, whose hard line drive went off Sheehan’s leg. Olivia Ferris came in to get the final two outs to end the game.
The Pandas struggled on offense as their two through six hitters went 0-for-14; Sheehan held the Pandas to five hits, two from Twardowski. Padua finished the season 11-8. The Seahawks advance to face 11th seed Wilmington Charter on Tuesday at 4 p.m. at Midway.