The Sussex Central Golden Knights softball squad has had an impressive season thus far but will face a stiff test in the 11-1 Delmar Wildcats on Thursday.

This is a rematch of last year’s second round of the DIAA tournament, a game won by the Golden Knights 12-9. And much like last season, this match up will be between two of the best in the state, with plenty on the line.

The Wildcats come into Thursday’s contest atop the Henlopen South division, while boasting the second best record in the entire state, trailing only an undefeated St. Georges Tech squad.

Sussex Central has not played as many games as the rest of their divisional and conference counter-parts, yet they still lead the Henlopen North division.

Central’s Mykala Steele has led the way for the Golden Knights this season with some spectacular pitching performances. So far, she’s 5-1 having gone the distance in all 6 games she has started. Steele’s only hiccup was a tough 2-1 decision to the Milford Bucs a few weeks ago.

Along with Steele, the Golden Knights have been very consistent offensively throughout their lineup. Paige Atkison, Morgan Smith, Chelsey Ward, Katie Warrington and Mackenzie Murphy have all contributed at the plate this season for Central.

For Delmar they’re led by Danielle Bradley who has dazzled on the pitching rubber and also with the bat. Kyra Webb has also contributed both in a starting pitching roll and at the plate with her bat.

While neither squad sits atop either the offensive or defensive rankings, they are both extremely well rounded teams making for a very even match up come Thursday.

Thursday’s matchup is huge for both Sussex Central and Delmar.

For Delmar, even at 11-1, they have Laurel (9-1) and Polytech (8-1) hot on their tail and any slip up could mean falling out of the top spot.

On the Sussex Central side of things, they have the Milford Bucs to deal with. While having games in hand on the 9-2 Bucs may seem like an advantage, it leaves little wiggle room for the Golden Knights. Having already fallen to the Bucs, they can ill afford to drop many more games especially now that Milford has gotten on a roll winning 5 in a row after dropping two games earlier in the month.

While neither team can win their division or conference with a win Thursday – they can certainly do damage to their cause with a loss. Nonetheless, it should be an exciting matchup, one where we’re likely to see a matchup on the mound of two of the best between Mykala Steele and Danielle Bradley.