Sample powers Ravens to 8-0 softball shutout of Senators

Jakayla Sample is greeted by teammates at home plate after smashing a two-run bomb in the bottom of the fourth inning. (Delaware State News/Ben Heck)

GEORGETOWN — Breaking out of a slump can be difficult, but Jakayla Sample made it look so easy.

The Sussex Tech High centerfielder launched a pair of home runs over the outfield wall Tuesday afternoon to power her team to an 8-0 shutout victory over Dover High.

The homers — a two-run shot in the fourth inning and a solo homer in the fifth — came just one day after the senior went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts in a 10-inning game.

“It was a great feeling,” Sample said. “Yesterday, when we played Polytech, it was a rough game and they knew my weaknesses, so I was like ‘OK, people know, so they’re going to keep doing it.’ So, I knew I had to do better.”

“She really made a couple of little adjustments and she hammered that ball,” said Tech coach John Marvel. “All of our kids hit the ball hard today against a really good pitcher. It gives me great joy to see the girls succeed, have fun and enjoy the game.”

The win improves the Ravens’ record 15-2 with one game remaining, closing out its Henlopen North schedule with a 5-1 record.

The Senators drop to 13-3 with two games remaining on its schedule.

Sussex Tech senior Taylor Wroten struck out 14 batters and tossed her seventh shutout of the season. (Delaware State News/Ben Heck)

Sample, sophomore Kylie Kruger, senior Colleen Cosbey, senior Kayla Booros and junior Kelsey Kormanik each had two-hit performances.

Tech collected 13 hits, including at least one from eight different hitters.

Senior Corrin Farris, junior Sierra Livingston and sophomore Kayla Evans added one each.

Senior starting pitcher Taylor Wroten surrendered just three hits and struck out 14 Senators in her complete game shutout. It’s the Ravens’ fourth straight shutout and seventh of the season.

“Today I really just had to focus on spotting up, because I had a long game yesterday and coming into the game I knew I was going to be tired,” explained Wroten. “But we took it one batter at a time, we tried to exploit their weaknesses and I think we did a pretty good job of that.”

Dover freshman Alexis Dowdy tossed a complete game, while freshman Emma Crowe, senior Kaila Quick and junior Jayla Davis each recorded one hit.

Senior Colleen Cosbey went 2-for-3 with a run scored in Tuesday’s win. (Delaware State News/ Ben Heck)

Wroten and Dowdy each stranded base runners and shut opposing hitters down through the game’s first three innings, combining to allow just two hits over that span.

“Kudos to her, she pitched a really great game and as a young pitcher I think she came out and performed well,” Wroten said of Dowdy. “Even when we started hitting her she kept her head in the game and that’s really big in pitching.”

It wasn’t until the bottom of the fourth inning, with Farris drilling a leadoff double to right field and Sample bringing her around with the two-run homer the next at bat, that the Ravens broke open the scoreless game.

Tech collected six hits in its five-run fourth inning, including a Kormanik RBI single and a two-run triple from Evans.

“I didn’t think it’d be a triple, but I knew it was a good hit because it felt good off the bat,” said Evans. “It felt really good; I was really hyped.”

Freshman Alexis Dowdy threw a complete game for the 13-3 Senators. (Delaware State News/Ben Heck)

Sample’s opposite field solo homer, an RBI triple by Booros and an RBI single from Kormanik in the fifth inning capped Tech’s scoring for the night.

Wroten struck out the last four batters she faced to seal the win and set up Thursday’s season finale against Delmar High (13-3).

“I’m really excited about where we are right now, this is definitely one of the best teams I’ve been on as far as chemistry and skills go,” said Wroten. “I’m excited to play our last game and hopefully head into the playoffs really strong.”

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