On Thursday, August 4 the Milford Junior League All-Star softball team left for the state of Connecticut to compete in the East Regional Championship. After an exciting season and a come from behind win last week to earn the title of Delaware State Champions the girls will now be competing for the title of East Regional Champion. With a win in Connecticut, they will compete in the Little League Softball World Series.
Held in West Haven, Connecticut, the East Regional Series will be held from Friday, August 5 to Thursday, August 11. Milford’s first game will be played on Friday against New Jersey at 10:45 am. The tournament is a round-robin style competition where the girls will play all 9 teams from the states of Connecticut, New York, Maine, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland and Rhode Island.
To become State Champions of Delaware, Milford defeated their opponents in three consecutive wins and beat their final challenger in back-to-back nights. Actually losing in the first round of the state tournament to Canal by a score of 4-3, Milford defeated Canal 7-4 to make the championship round and again 9-3 to become State Champions. The girls came back from a 2 run deficit late in the game to rally for the win.
“They never gave up,” commented Manager Elmer Walls. “We were behind 3-1 against Canal and came back to win. They have accomplished a lot but we still have a lot to do.”
This appearance at the East Regional Series is the first time that any of the girls on this team have been this far. The last Milford Junior team that went this far was in 2007. Due to this fact, Ruth Campbell, Milford Little League President, hung a 2007 jersey in the Junior Girls’ dugout for motivation.
Manager Walls is very excited about the girls’ chance to win the East Regional Series. “Batting-wise our whole team can hit the ball,” commented Walls. “We also have some very talented pitchers which will help.”
Manager Walls explains that most of the pitchers at this age can throw strikes but there are few who can throw a variety of pitches. With each girls only being able to pitch 10 innings per day in this tournament, a strong pitching staff is critical to success.
The coaches and the players are excited to be in the East Regional Tournament but are setting their goals much higher. “The team has not experienced this yet but we do not want to quit here,” said Manager Walls. “We all want to make it to Washington.”
As the team moves forward in the series, Milford Live will keep fans up-to-date with their tournament play. The girls will play all 9 teams in the East Regional Conference in the following week. The best 4 records will compete in a single elimination round to play for East Regional Champion. The winner of the tournament will advance to the World Series in Washington and get the chance to become a Junior Softball legacy.