Dover softball has struggled to find consistency over the years.
However, this year’s Lady Senators finished with a winning mark and have clinched the program’s best record. After positive strides a season ago, Dover ended the regular season 15-3.
“We’re taking it one game at a time,” said head coach Gerald Jester. “Our goal from day one
has been to get in the postseason, something that has never been done in Dover High softball
The work they put in before playing a game has made a difference in Jester’s eyes.
“The turnaround is the girls doing their homework in the off-season,” Jester said. “When I came to Dover High we had zero girls playing summer ball. You can’t compete in this state unless the girls play more than March 1st through May.
“When they come in on March 1, we can get a lot more done in a shorter amount of time. In the past, we were still trying to teach fundamentals of the game when the season started, and that hasn’t ended well in the past seasons.”
Coming fully prepared, the Lady Senators hit the ground running, winning six straight to open the year. After suffering two losses, they won nine of ten to close out the year.
Strong pitching freshman standout Alexis Dowdy has been one of Dover’s strengths.
With strong performances in the circle, the first-year pitcher has three solo shutouts -- against Laurel, Polytech and Cape Henlopen -- and combined with Emma Crow for a one-hit shutout
against Sussex Academy.
Perhaps Dowdy’s most impressive outings this year came against Seaford and North Caroline (Md.). Dowdy threw a no-hitter against Seaford, striking out seven batters, and combined with Crowe for the no-hitter against North Caroline.
“Lex came in with a lot of experience under her belt for a freshman,” Jester said. “She has been rock solid for us on the mound and the rest of the team has been rock solid for her on defense. That has been a good combination.”
In their offensive attack, it seems a new standout steps up each and every game.
Senior Kaila Quick has done her share of damage at the plate, highlighted by a game-winning triple against Queen Anne’s County (Md.) and an eight RBI performance where she finished a single short of the cycle against North Caroline (Md.).
Dover has also seen production throughout the lineup from fellow senior Ashlynn Davis, juniors Jayla Davis and Kaitlyn Crowe, sophomore Chelsea Johnson and freshman Alayna Gigliotti.
“We’re still improving the offense, but one through 13 is putting their time and reps in to get us where we want to be,” Jester said. “From game to game, we don’t know who will be the next one to step up with a big hit. It’s been fun to watch.”
With their first postseason berth now official; the Lady Senators were named the No. 8 overall seed in this year’s DIAA Softball State Tournament on Tuesday.
“We have already beaten teams that Dover had never defeated before in softball, and we have
the most wins ever in one season,” Jester said. “So, I guess you could say, the rest of the way,
we will be looking to complete our goal that we set from day one and we are sitting in a pretty
good spot as of now.
“Anything extra will be just that, extra icing on the cake, and we love cake, but the icing is