Delmar tops Padua 6-2 for 6th straight softball win

Delmar’s Ashlyn Tapman retired the last 13 batters in Monday’s victory over Padua. Delaware State News/Ben Heck

DELMAR — Ashlyn Tapman was unfazed by the 25-30 miles per hour gusts of wind swirling across the softball diamond on Monday.

The Delmar High freshman starting pitcher tossed a complete game with four strikeouts in the Wildcats’ 6-2 comeback win over Padua Academy.

The nonconference victory extends Delmar’s win streak to six games.

“It wasn’t bad actually, I thought it was going to be worse than it was,” she said of the wind. “I just had to push through and be there for my teammates.”

After surrendering a pair of runs to the Pandas (3-5) through the first three innings, Tapman retired the last 13 batters.

Over her last five starts, Tapman has allowed just four runs in 29.0 innings. Two of the five games were double-digit shutouts.

Paige Lynch is caught off first base, but not before driving in a pair of runs to give Delmar a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the third.

“Ashlyn’s just been phenomenal,” said Delmar coach Wayne Massey. “Ever since the first week, she’s pitched lights out.”

The Wildcats (6-3) collected eight hits from eight different girls, with senior Paige Lynch leading the way.

Lynch went 1-for-3 with three RBI, including a two-run hit that gave the Wildcats the lead for good.

“At the beginning we were kind of slow and not really hitting that well, but once we got used to the pitching and realized how she was throwing we started picking it up,” Lynch said.

Tapman, junior Logan Walls and senior Natalie Smith each drove in a run as well.

Padua’s Hailey Brooks and Melanie Grant combined in the pitcher’s circle, with Brooks going the first two innings, allowing one run.
The Pandas collected six hits from six different players, including an RBI single from junior Zoey Jones.

Delmar’s freshman courtesy runner Camryn Wingate slides into home to score the Wildcats’ sixth run in the bottom of the fifth.

Padua plated a run in both the first and third innings. Delmar bounced back by putting together a four-run rally in the bottom of the third.

“It was good to battle back and take the lead pretty quick, and after that Ashlyn just settled down and controlled the game and made some good pitches, hit her spots and that’s what you need,” said Massey.

Walls drove in Smith on an RBI single for Delmar’s first run. Tapman was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded three at-bats later to drive in Walls and knot the game, 2-2.

Lynch capped the rally with a two-run single, scoring eighth-grade catcher Josie Hollamon and senior second baseman Madison Lemon for the 4-2 lead.

Ashlyn Tapman singles to centerfield in the sixth inning.

Just moments after the two runs crossed the plate, Lynch and Haley Rieben were each caught in separate rundowns to end the inning.

Delmar tacked on two runs with an RBI double from Smith in the fourth inning and a Lynch RBI groundout in the fifth.

The six-game win streak has the Wildcats back on track with two road games at Indian River High and Caravel Academy over the next five days.

“I just tried to put in more effort on the field and off the field,” Tapman said of the slow start. “As a team, we kind of got together and figured out what we needed to do and we just did it.”

“Really, the first three games we didn’t do much of anything right — hitting, fielding — and then after that first week we kind of took a deep breath and went back to the basics,” said Massey.

“Getting more swings in the cages, fundamental defensive stuff, and the main thing I saw was just settling in and getting more focused.”

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