By Kevin Eickman
With the State tournament on the horizon, the Milford Buccaneers softball team closed out their regular season this past Thursday as they hosted Indian River. The game was a culmination of the three game stretch which witnessed the Buccaneers facing off against three tournament teams.
In their final regular season games as Buccaneers, seniors Kate Richard and Harley Rickards said farewell in style as both went deep in the Milford 5-3 triumph. The Rickards home run proved to be the game winner and surprised the Buccaneers right fielder. “I wasn’t expecting to hit a home run in my final game, and I was just thrilled when it happened,” Rickards said. “When I hit it I thought it was going to be off the fence so I was just running hard, then everyone was going crazy because I had a home run, it was crazy.”
The win brought Milford’s record to 13-5 for the season, a record which should be good enough for a first round home tournament game. While the Buccaneers won’t know their first round opponent until later this week, they got a first hand look last Thursday day at defending State Champion’s Laurel on Tuesday. The game was a a 1-0 loss for the Bucs as they faced off against the top pitcher in Delaware, junior Regan Green. While it was a loss, coach Drew Holleger believes that it could help out in the future for Milford. “The more you compete against the pitcher of Regan’s caliber the better you become,” Holleger commented. “She is a fantastic pitcher and when you’re in the playoffs you come up against a lot of good pitching.”
Completing his first season as the Milford manager, Holleger offered a big tip of the hat to this year’s seniors. “I have to say, having leaders like this year’s seniors has been great for this team,” Holleger said. “When you have players who come prepared to work every day and make everyone around them better, it just makes everything so much easier.”
Rickards has been a fixture at third base for Milford, watching her develop over the years has been a pleasure to watch. She has been an anchor for the Milford infield, always there to make the big play when needed and the true definition of a leader. With her final tournament on the horizon, Rickards hopes this year’s team can be successful. “Up to this point going to the State semifinals as s sophomore was great, but we still have one more tournament to go, so we’ll see.”
Talking with senior Alison Sanders about her experience at Milford, her favorite memory is the entire team aspect. “The way that we all came together as a team, how we all believe in each other and how nobody ever quits,” she said.