6-5, 5-4, 3-2 and 4-3, those were all games the Milford girls’ softball team could have won. Fate had continually delt the Bucs a losing hand when they obviously didn’t deserve it. In coming up on the losing end of all those scores, Milford entered this past Thursday’s game with an 0-13 record. While this might be discouraging for many teams, this young team believes in themselves, as well as each other. There skill and determination were all on display as they hosted Early College High School at DSU. In this contest, Milford would leave no doubt as to who the better team was as it blasted the visiting Hornets, 23-3.
It all started with a 15-run first inning as batter after batter reached base, be it by hit or walk. There were no baserunning mistakes that had haunted them in previous contests, there was no letting up, today was going to be Milford’s day. “We came out determined and ready to play today (Thursday). Our girls have worked so hard and given so much, there was no way that we were going to come off the field losers today,” Milford coach Mackenzie Reed stated.
While both teams came into the game winless, Milford was the clear favorite. Just because you are favored however, doesn’t always mean you will win. On the hill for Milford was sophomore hurler Khyliah Reynolds, who had been on the wrong end of those losing scores, who had seen leads evaporate or rallies come up short. She didn’t have her “A” game Thursday, but she didn’t need it as she was still good enough to earn the win. While only pitching two innings, giving up no hits and striking out five, she did have some control issues. “I wasn’t really at my best today, but I worked through it. Once I settled down and got into a bit of a groove, I felt a lot better out there. Plus, when your team spots you 15 runs in the first inning it takes all the pressure off,” Reynolds said.
Despite only pitching two innings, Reynolds was credited with the win. It was her first win at the varsity level, and she was obviously thrilled to get it. “Honestly, this hasn’t been the easiest of years, but I have stayed with it. My teammates have always been supportive of me and it was just great for us as a team to come away with the win,” she said. “There were some times when you wonder if you are ever going to win, but you just have to dig down deep and that is what this team did today.”
After Reynolds two innings of work, she gave way to junior hurler Ryleigh Harrison, who would pitch the final three innings of the “mercy rule” shortened five inning game. Solid in relief, Reed offered high praise for the junior. “Ryleigh had a really solid game on the mound as well. While she gave up a few big hits, she really pitched her way out of trouble with minimal damage.”
Speaking with senior centerfielder Haleigh Baker following the game, she believes that this win can be a big steppingstone for the team. “We are a pretty young team when you really look at us as a group. It has been important to try and keep the team focused and they really have done a good job of that. Nobody likes to lose, but this team is gaining experience that is going to benefit the program going forward. I am so proud just to be a part of it.”
When asked what she expected of the team in the remaining few games, Reed was quick to answer. “I honestly think that this was the one we needed, we just needed to get the first win under our belt. I honestly believe we are going to finish the season very strong.”