Indians upset Lake 7-4, head to state softball semifinals

FELTON — Sophomore starting pitcher Abigail O’Shields turned in a strong performance for Indian River softball, helping the Indians earn a 7-4 upset victory over No. 2-seeded Lake Forest Friday afternoon in the softball state tournament quarterfinals.

The victory, coming three days after No. 10 IR’s 7-4 first-round win over Red Lion, allows the Indians to host No. 11 Milford in this afternoon’s semifinals.

“Lake is such a great team, and it’s hard playing teams we played in the regular season,” head coach Erika Murphy said. “We are a firm believer in that the regular season means absolutely nothing once playoffs start. They’re determined this year and they want it bad, and that’s all you can ask for in a time like this.”

With Kerrigan Simpson in the pitcher’s circle for Lake, Indian River’s lineup managed to get the bat on the ball and put runners in scoring position in the three-run game.

Sophomore first baseman Samantha Mayfield led off the top of the second inning with a double to left field, and scored two batters later on a Braydee Whitman double.

Indian players celebrate their win over Lake Forest in the second round of the state softball tournament at Lake Forest on Friday. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

After a 1-2-3 first inning against Lake’s Mya Maddox, Kaitlyn Stahre and Brooke Glanden, IR’s O’Shields ran into some trouble in the bottom of the second inning. With the bases loaded and Lake threatening to score, O’Shields recorded back-to-back strikeouts of Abigail Collins and Grace Aguilar to end the scoring threat.

Indian River’s Samantha Mayfield is all smiles after hitting a home run against Lake Forest

Sophomore catcher Grace Snyder extended IR’s lead to 3-0 in the top of the fourth inning, drilling a two-run homer over the outfield fence.

Aguilar singled in senior catcher Faith Garey in the bottom half of the fourth to cut IR’s lead to 3-1.

Julia Bomhardt led the fifth inning off with a single to center field, later advancing to third and scoring on a Makenzie Collins bloop single to left field.

Lake’s Brittany Baker drove in Kaitlyn Stahre on a sacrifice fly to center field in the bottom of the fifth inning, cutting in to IR’s lead once again.

Indian River went back up three runs in the sixth on a Damya Williams RBI double, scoring senior Madison McGee.

O’Shields retired Lake in order in the bottom of the sixth inning, forcing Garey and Collins fly-outs and an Aguilar groundout.

Indian River’s Abigail O’Shields pitches against Lake Forest

Samantha Mayfield provided Indian River with two additional insurance runs in the top half of the seventh, drilling a Kaitlyn Stahre pitch over the outfield wall.

“We came in with clear heads,” Mayfield said. “We knew that this was going to be a very tough game, but we just know we can play well. And we performed up to our potential.”

Simpson hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh inning, bouncing a pitch off the scoreboard in left field. But O’Shields recorded the final out on an infield pop-up, sealing IR’s eighth consecutive victory.

“I was just going one at a time — one inning at a time — and my defense played great behind me,” O’Shields said. “They made some great plays.”

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