CAMDEN – The Caesar Rodney softball team was playing its second game in just over 24 hours Thursday, but after defeating Concord 5-0 to improve their record to 4-0 on the young season, there was no sense that the Riders were overly tired — just happy with the results.
“We’ve had a couple of girls sick this week so that forced us to make some changes in our lineup,” Riders head coach Skye Boris said. “We knew it was going to be tough, but I was impressed with how we played today.”
“We work hard a lot in practice on keeping our energy up,” added junior pitcher Alyssa Ball, who pitched a complete game shutout, surrendering just three hits while forcing the Raiders into 11 ground-ball outs. “Our focus is always on the game.”
Ball also improved to 4-0 on the season by working in tandem with a solid defense behind her that seemed to smother any ball the Raiders (1-1) got on the ground.
“Alyssa is a very, very intelligent softball player and she holds her position on the mound really well,” Boris said. “She’s not afraid to get the ground-ball outs, get fly-outs and make her defense work for her.”
“I know I’m not really a strikeout pitcher,” Ball explains, “so I just try to rely a lot on my defense and they always have my back.”
Offensively, CR methodically pushed five runs across on 11 hits, including RBI singles by freshman Courtney Malin and senior Kendall Lewis.
“We hit in practice with a purpose,” Boris says. “It’s how we’re able to manufacture runs and play small ball.”
“That’s what the top of our lineup does,” said Malin, who collected two singles on the day. “We get on base and when the defense makes errors, that’s when we score runs.”
After defeating St. Mark’s 11-5 Wednesday afternoon, the Riders are now free to enjoy the rest of their spring break, but according to Malin and Ball, they don’t mind being on the softball field at all.
“We’re a really tight group of girls so we can rely on each other no matter and we know that we can win games,” Malin said.
“When we’re on the field, we’re thinking about only softball,” Ball added. “After the game, then we can go back to sleep or hang out together.”
Rachel Pritchard pitched six innings for Concord, striking out 12 batters. Eryn Bailey, Shelly Johnson and Alyson Fox each collected singles for the Raiders.