MILLTOWN — Ryleigh Thomas had her high school softball debut delayed by a year, and she made the most of her first appearance for Saint Mark’s. The sophomore struck out 14 of the 15 hitters she faced, and she had four hits, three runs scored and five runs batted in as the Spartans blanked St. Elizabeth, 11-0, in five innings.
The first day of spring sports in Delaware brought temperatures in the mid-60s and cloudless skies, and the Spartans were ready to show off their youthful roster. Of the 14 players on the team, only one is a senior and one a junior. After Thomas struck out the side in the first, the Spartans’ offense went to work.
With runners on second and third with no one out, Thomas drove a single to right field, scoring both. She came in to score on an error for Saint Mark’s third run. With two outs, Amanda Oller walked, moved to second on a single by Peyton Crone, and scored on a single by Kaitlyn Lynch.
Saint Mark’s added a pair in the second. Thomas hit a one-out double and went to third on an error, and she scored on a passed ball. Pia Perrone walked and eventually scored on a Olivia Datillo single.
The Spartans tacked on two more in their half of the fourth. Morgan Hall opened with a double to left, and Thomas brought her home with a triple to deep left-center. Thomas scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Perrone.
In the fifth, the Spartans had a runner at second with two outs when they scored the three runs that ended the contest. Hall singled to left to plate Morgan Shiber, and Thomas concluded the game with a smash down the left-field line that went for an inside-the-park home run.
The only ball allowed into play by Thomas came with one out in the third. Kylie Mitchell grounded a ball to the left of the mound, and Thomas fielded it and threw her out at first.
Hall reached base three times on a walk and two hits. She also scored twice and had a run batted in. The Spartans finished with nine hits. Saint Mark’s (1-0) travel to Appoquinimink on Thursday at 4 p.m.
The Vikings (0-1) play at Brandywine on Thursday, also at 4 p.m.
All photos by Mike Lang.