Delaware South rallies to win Carpenter Cup softball crown

Delaware South celebrates after winning the 2018 Carpenter Cup softball championship. Delaware State News/Tim Mastro

PHILADELPHIA — Anything hit to the outfield was all Delaware South needed and Sierra Livingston delivered.

Livingston’s walkoff sacrifice fly gave Delaware South its first Carpenter Cup softball championship since 2013 on Thursday afternoon.

Delaware South rallied from a four-run deficit to earn a 6-5 victory over Berks Lancaster Lebanon Counties (Pa.). It was the second win over Berks Lancaster Lebanon, who had won the past two Carpenter Cup titles, in as many days for Delaware South.

“We had to focus on one pitch at a time and know each out counts,” Livingston said of the comeback. “One pitch at a time is all that matters.”

With the game in extra innings, the universal tie-break rules came into effect. Each team started the eighth inning with a runner on second.

Berks Lancaster Lebanon’s runner was short-lived in the top of the eighth, though. After a missed sacrifice bunt, the runner was thrown out at third by catcher Zoe Wilcox (Smyrna High).

“That’s one less person in scoring position,” Wilcox said. “It was a big out for us.”

Wilcox, the lone Kent County player on the Delaware South squad, also made a key defensive play in the seventh. A ball got by her with a runner on third, but she was able to recover and make a diving tag to prevent the potential go-ahead run from scoring.

Delaware South quickly moved its automatic runner, Hannah Davis of Delmar, on second base to third in the eighth after she advanced on a passed ball.

Livingston, of Sussex Tech, lofted a flyball to left and Davis easily beat the through home as the Delaware South team rushed out to meet her at home plate.

Taylor Wroten, another Sussex Tech player, recorded the win giving up just one run in four innings of relief. Wroten finished with three strikeouts.

“I knew I had to have my team’s back,” Livingston said. “Everybody has been working hard and it’s a team game. I had Taylor’s back as a pitcher, she was pitching a great game.”

It is the fourth time Delaware South has won the showcase tournament, which features teams made up of high school sophomores and juniors from Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Delaware South is represented by players from Kent County and Sussex County.

The Delaware South team will be honored by the Philadelphia Phillies on the field prior to their game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday, July 23.

Ryleigh Elliott (Cape Henlopen) led Delaware South on Thursday with three of its 12 hits. She drove in the first run of the day and Delaware South added one more on an error to trail 4-2 after four innings.

A run scored in the fifth on a wild pitch before Livingston tied the game with a RBI single. Jordyn DiFava (Delmarva Christian) gave Delaware South its first lead with a RBI triple in the sixth.

Berks Lancaster Lebanon scored a run to tie in the seventh but Wilcox’s defense and Wroten’s pitching kept the game tied at 5-5, setting the stage for Livingston’s walkoff.

“This is an incredible team,” DiFava said. “We enjoy playing the game we love and when we step in between the lines we’re focused. It was an awesome team effort.”

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