By Kevin Eickman
It’s approximately 35 miles from Milford to Roxanna, but don’t tell that to the Milford Senior League softball team. To punch their ticket to the Little League Senior Softball World Series, held in Roxanna, Milford had to travel to Worcester, Massachusetts to compete in the East Regional tournament. Combining solid pitching, defense and timely hitting, the girls went 6-0 in earning the crown.
Don’t be fooled by the 6-0 tournament record however, as nothing came easy for Milford. In posting a 4-0 record in pool play Milford earned the top seed in the semi-finals. Facing a determined team from Waterford, Connecticut, Milford soon realized they had a tall order ahead of them. The game never lacked for drama, as Milford hit the ball hard and had runners on the bases most of the game. However, each time Milford had their chances, the Waterford defense and pitching refused to yield.
“The Connecticut team was tough, they made some very big plays throughout the game,” said Milford Manager Ronny Fry.The missed opportunities looked to doom Milford, when in the top of the seventh inning Waterford pushed the first run of the game across. Milford found themselves facing elimination from the tournament, they needed to dig deep.
“Our girls believe in themselves, so in a situation like that they showed how much they wanted to win,” stated Fry. In the bottom of the seventh inning Milford struck quickly, as Harley Rickards got a lead-off hit and scored the tying run. With the bases loaded and one out, Haylee Scruggs settled the issue with the game winning hit.
Milford followed up with a 4-2 victory over Monroe Township, New Jersey, a team that they defeated in pool play 8-2. With the win Milford had earned the right to compete at the Senior League Softball World Series, just down the road in Roxanna. Coach Fry believes that it is the continued commitment that the girls have for each other that makes a difference.
“These girls have been playing softball together for such a long time, they can all hit and our pitching is good,” commented Fry “This is a great group of girls who are very dedicated to the sport, and it shows every time they take the field.” On Friday, August 2 the girls returned home to Milford and were honored with a parade through the downtown area to the Milford Little League park to celebrate their Eastern Regional victory.