McCabe helps Blue win over Gold in All-Star Softball Game


DOVER — Hayley McCabe had no idea she was going to be the game’s starting pitcher until she got to the field on Tuesday evening.

“I was kind of shocked,” admitted the recent Sussex Central High grad. “I was like, ‘All right, cool.’ I was actually really nervous.”

But McCabe took it all in stride, limiting the Gold to just one run in the first four innings before the Blue ultimately posted a 6-4 victory in the Blue-Gold All-Star Softball Game.

McCabe and Hodgson’s Morgan Heritage combined to pitch an eight-hitter for the Blue in the contest played at Dover Little League.

The two squads weren’t split geographically, with Henlopen Conference players on both rosters.

The Blue never trailed after scoring twice in the bottom of the first inning. It eventually stretched its lead to 6-1 when Sussex Tech’s Rylee Shockley belted a two-run home run in the fourth.

The homer earned Shockley the Blue MVP award. Shockley, who hit 10 home runs during the season for the Ravens, finished with three RBI.

“Right away I was like, ‘Oh that’s a really good hit,’” said Shockley, who will continue her career at Lebanon Valley (Pa.) College. “It was fun being able to do that. It was a lot of fun, I’m glad I got to play.”

Milford’s Nia Bowe also homered, earning the Gold MVP award after hitting a solo shot in the second.

It was fitting that a Buccaneer homered after Milford smacked 18 home runs in four games while winning the state championship. Bowe hit four of those state tourney homers.

“You can kind of feel it when it comes off the bat,” said Bowe, who is headed to Coppin State on a scholarship. “It’s definitely exciting. This is a really cool opportunity to come out here and play with these girls, knowing that they’re the best in the state.”

“To see Nia hit one out was great,” said Milford’s Sean Brennan, one of the Gold coaches. “What’s great is that she’s not looking to hit that home run. She’s looking to hit a line drive in the gap but she just has so much power.”

The Gold scored the final three runs of the game before falling short.

Lake Forest’s Mya Maddox scored a run in the sixth after reaching base on a bunt single. The speedster then came home when Middletown’s Jordan Cooke lined an RBI single up the middle.

Maddox then used her speed again to score the Gold’s last run in the eighth. This time she smacked a line drive to left center field.

When the ball went to the fence, Maddox headed for third. And when the Blue mishandled the relay throw, Maddox raced home to complete the play.

“As soon as it got by the leftfielder, it’s ‘three’ all the way,” said Brennan, who was coaching third. “Then, if you don’t hit the cut, it’s ‘four.’”

“I saw it go in the gap, I thought I could get ‘two’ out of it,” said Maddox, who is headed for Daytona State College in the fall. “But then my coach decided to keep running. Then he said, ‘Go, go, go.’ He thought I could get it.

“It was fun. I got to meet new girls. I like how they mix the teams together.”

In the end, of course, having fun was the main goal of the night.

For players like Sussex Central’s McCabe, this was one of the last big games of her career. She plans to keep playing this summer but that will be it for competitive softball.

Helping the Blue get a victory was a nice way to finish up.

“It was so much fun,” said McCabe, who is going to the University of Delaware. “I was really looking forward to being out here, playing with girls I usually play against. It was really cool. Everyone contributed.

“I was really kind of shocked but I was happy with my performance tonight. … I thought I threw pretty hard which is nice to come back and do.”

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