Lower Sussex nabs Major League state softball title with 14-1 victory

ROXANA – When starting pitcher Camryn Ehlers picked up a slow rolling ground ball in front of the pitcher’s circle and chucked it over to first baseman Destiny Mitchell for the final out Saturday night, she fulfilled a three-year wish.

The Lower Sussex softball squad defeated Camden-Wyoming, 14-1, in the Major Softball Delaware State championship game to earn a spot in the Mid-Atlantic Regionals in Connecticut next week.

“They’ve put in a lot of hard work,” said Lower Sussex manager Sarah Hoban. “Cam has just done a great job on the mound and the girls, defensively, are backing her up. The bats are coming through and it’s just been a lot of fun to watch.”

Ehlers struck out seven C-W batters in the 14-1 Lower Sussex state title victory Saturday night (Sussex Post/Ben Heck).

Three years ago, Camryn’s sister, Raychel, played in the Mid-Atlantic Regionals. Camryn attended the game as a spectator and told her father that she wanted to play in the tournament one day.

Now, in less than a week, she’ll have the opportunity to do so with her Lower Sussex teammates.

“It feels really great and I’m glad we get to do it with a great group of girls,” Ehlers said Saturday night. “It’s really exciting to be playing on ESPN. That’s been our dream and our goal throughout this entire season, is to have fun and be on ESPN.”

Lower Sussex and Camden-Wyoming traded runs in the first inning of Saturday’s title game before Lower Sussex broke the game open with a seven-run top of the second inning.

Left fielder Katie McHale reached first base on an error to lead off the inning and was quickly driven in by a Shaniya Lewis RBI single to right field.

Lewis came around to score on a passed ball to put Sussex ahead 3-1.

Second baseman Kinsley Hall kept the rally going by driving in Destiny Mitchell with a triple to centerfield.

Shaniya Lewis safely slides into home on a passed ball during Saturday’s 14-1 win (Sussex Post/Ben Heck).

Laniya Lewis, Jaya Shaub and Macy Blades would score the remaining runs of the second inning to provide Ehlers with a seven-run cushion.

Two more runs in the fifth and four more in the sixth inning put the game out of reach for Lower Sussex as they completed the district and state tournaments with a combined 7-0 record.

Offensively, Lower Sussex collected 12 hits against Camden-Wyoming’s pitchers. Hall, Ehlers, Shaub, Lily Hoban and Shaniya Lewis recorded two hits each; Macy Blades and Aniyah Blake finished with one hit each.

Ehlers, who threw every pitch of both tourneys, finished the night with seven strikeouts and just one run in her six innings of work.

“When she’s pitching, we know she’s going to do good and we’re always going to back her up on defense. I love that she’s our pitcher,” said starting shortstop Laniya Lewis.

Lower Sussex holds up the Delaware state championship banner (Sussex Post/Ben Heck).

Chloe Danigan started in the pitcher’s circle for Camden-Wyoming, tossing the first 1+ inning before being relieved by Lauren Dickerson in the second inning. Dickerson finished the final 5.0 innings in the pitcher’s circle.

With the opening ceremonies of the Mid-Atlantic Regionals this Friday, July 20 and the team’s first game set for the following day, it’s a quick turn-around for Lower Sussex.

“Our focus is just going to be to continue doing what we’re doing,” Hoban said. “This has been a goal of theirs from the beginning, to try to get an opportunity to go to Connecticut and play in regionals. So, I’m just very proud of each and every one of them for putting in the work.”

Sports Editor Ben Heck can be reached at bheck@newszap.com.

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