After Payton Dixon threw a no-hitter to lead the Eagles to their victory in the second round of the state tournament, they will host undefeated Delaware Military Academy in the semifinals Wednesday, May 22 at 4:30 p.m.
Smyrna High School pitcher Payton Dixon threw a no-hitter to lead the Eagles to a 1-0 win over St. Georges Tech in the second round of the state softball tournament Saturday in Smyrna.
“I just tried to stay focused and keep playing with high energy,” said Dixon, who struck out seven and walked two.
The sophomore said although the Eagles didn’t face the Hawks during the regular season, she was familiar with some of their tendencies at the plate.
“I know some of their players and knew some of the struggles they have with certain pitches,” she said.
She also credited catcher Zoe Wilcox with directing a great game.
“I just kept throwing what she was calling,” said Dixon.
Smyrna Coach Nicki Shirey said Dixon has excelled in her first year as a starting pitcher for the Eagles who are now 17-2.
“She did an amazing job and kept her composure very well,” said Shirey.
But to win, you still have to score, and for the second time in two tournament games, Julia Thuer provided the key hit for the Eagles.
Thuer’s fourth-inning single knocked in Smyrna’s only run in the victory.
“I had never faced her before,” said Thuer about St. Georges Tech pitcher Samantha Carbonara. “She was definitely jamming us.”
When teammate Sara Miller reached second base after a single and a passed ball, Thuer said she knew she needed to get a hit.
Shirey said Thuer is focused and dependable at the plate.
“I knew we could rely on her to get something done. I knew she was going to make contact and she really came through for us,” said Shirey.
Semifinal game May 22 in Smyrna
The Eagles, seeded second in the tournament, will now host No. 3 Delaware Military Academy Wednesday, May 22 at 4:30 p.m., in the semifinals. Admission is $6.
Delaware Military Academy is undefeated, 20-0, including a 7-2 win over Smyrna May 6.
In the other semifinal, No. 1 Caravel faces No. 12 Charter School of Wilmington.
The winners of the semifinals will play in the state championship game Saturday, May 25, but the place and time haven’t been announced.
Eagles defeat Polytech in first round
The Eagles won their first-round game over No. 15 Polytech, 5-1, Thursday.
With the score tied 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning, Julia Thuer knocked in two runs with a single for a 3-1 lead, and then Laiken Zay ripped a double to score two more runs for the Eagles.
The Eagles plated their first run in the bottom of the fifth inning on Olyvia Smith’s single for a 1-0 lead.
In the top of the sixth, Polytech tied the game on a bases-loaded single to center, but Smyrna center fielder Abby Mace threw to home plate and catcher Zoe Wilcox tagged out the second Polytech runner trying to score on the play.