Sample helps lead Sussex Tech over Smyrna 13-7 in softball

SMYRNA — Given how loud she made contact, Jakayla Sample knew she had cleared the fence.

A few innings later, the scene repeated itself.

Sample, a freshman from Sussex Tech, belted a pair of home runs to help lead the Ravens over Smyrna High 13-7 in a Henlopen Conference Northern Division matchup on Thursday afternoon.

“I could hear it,” Sample said. “If you hear it like that, and you know it’s gone, it’s just a good rush through your body.”

She wasn’t the only Raven to experience the long-ball. Rylee Shockley homered in the second while Madison Watson had a three-run shot in the fifth.

Sample’s three-run blast to left allowed Sussex Tech to get out to a 6-0 lead after three innings. She added a solo homer to right-center in the sixth.

“She pumps them out pretty good in practice and when she catches the ball it’s going to go somewhere,” said Sussex Tech coach John Marvel. “We have some kids that can really hit the ball.”

With the victory, Sussex Tech improved to 12-2 overall and 11-1 in Henlopen Conference play. While the Ravens have two more conference games left, they are both against Henlopen South opposition.

They own the tiebreaker against all Henlopen North teams except Cape Henlopen, who defeated Sussex Tech on Monday. Sussex Tech remains in first in the division and will clinch with either one more conference win or another loss by Cape Henlopen.

Smyrna dropped to 9-3 overall and 7-3 in the Henlopen Conference.

The Eagles didn’t go quietly though, rallying for four runs in the bottom half of the fifth which made it an 8-6 game. Watson answered with her home run in the Ravens’ next turn at-bat.

“Smyrna’s a really good team so we had to focus on getting good pitches and driving runs in,” Watson said. “I like how we just stayed calm and focused on getting routine outs.”

Smyrna was led by Taylor Cappella who went 4-for-4 with a three-run home run and finished a triple short of the cycle.

Sussex Tech was up by as much as 8-0 thanks to RBI singles by Shockley and Taylor Collins in the top of the fourth. Smyrna responded with two runs of its own in the bottom half, on a wild pitch and a RBI single from Olivia Faragher.

The Eagles’ four-run fourth was highlighted by Tayler John’s RBI single with two outs which brought Cappella to the plate with a pair of runners on. Cappella deposited a liner over the fence in left.

“You gotta give Smyrna a lot of credit,” Marvel said. “They could have rolled over and they did not. They have a very good team and I have a lot of respect for them. They really competed today. They really chased us and I’m proud of our kids, they pushed on, and they got back control of the game.”

Smyrna couldn’t get closer than that however as after Watson’s and Sample’s home runs, Shannon Lord provided another insurance run with a RBI single in the top of the seventh.

“We never gave up and they never gave up,” Sample said. “They gave us a run for our money.”


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