Ravens honored injured teammate in first-round softball win

GEORGETOWN — No. 4 seed Sussex Tech used a 3-RBI day from senior first baseman Rylee Shockley to blank No. 13 Newark Charter, 3-0, in a first-round DIAA softball tournament game Wednesday afternoon.

The game — and every 2017 Tech playoff game from here on out — will be for teammate Shannon Lord.

The senior catcher, who was recently injured in a car accident, was absent from the field, but still played a significant role in Tech’s tournament-opening victory.

The team hung up a “Play for Shan” poster in the dugout and did everything they could to pull away with the win.

Tech will face Delaware Military Academy in a quarterfinal match-up today.

“We really wanted to do well in the playoffs, obviously, before her accident,” Shockley said. “But now it just has so much more meaning to us. She’s a senior so she’s not able to play with all the rest of the seniors. It’s emotional not being able to play with her for her last time — and our last time — so we just really want to keep winning so she’s able to come to a game when she’s recovered enough to come out and leave the hospital.”

Tech didn’t waste any time scoring.

Shockley’s first-inning RBI single scored Alyssa Collins and put Tech on the scoreboard first, 1-0.

“I think she really went into the batter’s box with a plan,” Sussex Tech head coach John Marvel said. “Sometimes hitters will get into the batter’s box with too many socks in the drawer, and so she just had a thought in mind. First time up she did a great job protecting the outside and just put the ball in play, got a run there.”

She later sealed the victory with a two-run homer in the fifth inning, scoring Jakayla Sample and putting Tech ahead 3-0.

“We knew before the game that she was going to be throwing a lot outside, so we prepared for that,” Shockley said of Newark Charter pitcher Caitlin Pontak. “The first time I just moved closer to the plate so I could expect the outside pitch and I took it that way. Then my third at bat I went up with the same approach and just got the barrel on the ball and it went over. It did what it was supposed to do.”

Sophomore starting pitcher Taylor Wroten helped Tech to victory by pitching a complete game shutout and striking out seven Newark Charter batters.

Wroten found herself in trouble early on, escaping the first inning with two runners aboard and even retiring three straight batters with the bases loaded in the fifth inning. By game’s end she had surrendered just two hits to Newark Charter.

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