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 are now 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. 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.
Milford’s first game was held on Friday, August 5 against New Jersey where they lost 9-1. Combined pitching from Emily Messick & Jasmine Passwaters, Milford struggled at the plate and with 8 of New Jersey’s runs scoring off of errors, it made it difficult to come back. It wasn’t that New Jersey had big hitters but errors that moved New Jersey’s runners around. The lone run was scored by Jasmine Passwaters.
Milford’s second game was later that afternoon versus Rhode Island where Milford came out on top 11-1. Ending in a slaughter rule after 5 innings, Haylee Scruggs pitched 4 innings only giving up 1 hit. The last inning with pitched by Timicia Jarvis. Emily Messick had a triple with 2 RBIs, Kasey Fry had a double with 2 RBIs and Harley Rickards had a single that brought in Kasey Fry for the 10 run slaughter rule. All four Milford pitchers were able to pitch in the next days’ game.
On Monday, August 8 Milford played Connecticut at 9am after Sunday’s games were rescheduled due to bad weather. Milford started off pitching Timicia Jarvis who threw 4 strike outs, giving up 2 hits that scored for Connecticut. In the top of the 3rd inning, Milford’s own Emily Messick had a beautiful over the left field fence home run scoring their first run of the game. Haylee Scruggs scored the second run for Milford off of an RBI from Kiki Smith. Milford was tied 2-2 in the top of the 5th inning. Then in the bottom of the 6th inning Connecticut took the lead on Milford on errors ending the game 4-2.
Later that afternoon Milford played Maine for their second game of the day. Haylee Scruggs struck out 5, giving up 1 hit and scoring 1 run with an RBI. Emily Messick came in during the 4th inning to end the game in the 5th with 2 strike outs and 3 RBIs. Kasey Fry scored 4 runs with 2 singles, 1 double and 3 RBIs. Timicia Jarvis scored 4 runs with 2 doubles, 1 single & 1 RBI. Harley Rickards scored 3 runs with 2 RBIs. Jenna Campbell, Jasmine Passwaters, Kortni Rickards & Jess Bishop all scored 1 run for Milford also. Milford defeated Maine 15-0 to extend their record in the East Regional Series to 2-2.
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 played in regionals was in 2007. 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.”
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.”
Milford will play New York at 8:30am and Massachusettes at 3:30pm on Tuesday, August 9th.