By Kevin Eickman
If there is such a thing as a must win game, just four games into the season, this was it. This past Thursday, the Milford Lady Bucs hosted North Caroline and the Bucs were reeling. Monday they had been dominated by Henlopen South rival Delmar 13-4. Wednesday may have been even more disheartening for Milford. After managing to erase a 5-0 deficit to visiting Sussex Central, the Buccaneers could do no more. Milford would end up falling 6-5, dropping their record to an uncharacteristic 1-2.
With Easter break on the horizon, falling to North Caroline would have taken what was a concern and made it a crisis. On the hill for Milford was senior Haylee Scruggs. If Milford is to be successful this year, they will need her to have a solid season. While Scruggs was on the hill for the debacle at Delmar, a closer look at the box score shows Milford committed seven errors in that game. “We have had a tough time with errors up to this point,” coach Drew Holleger stated. “Errors are a funny thing and can be contagious, today we exorcised that demon.”
With the defense firmed up behind her, Scruggs looked very settled this past Thursday, giving up just two runs as Milford needed just six innings to vanquish the visitors. “Haylee was very strong out there today, we really needed that from her today.” Holleger said. “If we are going to do anything this year, we are going to have to rely on her.” Milford would ultimately defeat North Caroline 12-2.
Milford’s other victory this year came at Seaford in the season opener. In that game the Bucs recorded 23 runs on 20 hits, indicating that Milford should be able to put up runs this year. “We have a very solid lineup from top to bottom,” Holleger said “We have a very experienced group that knows what to do at the plate, we expect that to be a real strength for us.”
Besides Scruggs, look for sophomore Megan Fry to provide innings on the hill for Milford this season as well. “Megan has a strong arm, she is very versatile as well and we are able to move her all around the field when we need to,” Holleger stated. “We also have Madison Swain, sophomore, and Morgan Abbott, freshman, that will be able to give us innings as well.”
One of the aspects of the team that Holleger has a lot of faith in has to do with the character and experience of the squad. “One of the things that’s great about the team is the ability for players to rise to the occasion,” said Holleger. “While we have seniors, I believe that any player on this team is capable of delivering in big situations.”
Milford will host Smyrna on April 13th, game time is 4:15.