Milford takes down Valley

MILFORD – The weather conditions were sloppy, but the Milford High School softball team’s performance was far from it during its Division II meeting with Merrimack Valley.

The Spartans prevailed over the Pride, 7-2, during a gloomy Friday afternoon that included sporadic rainfall.

Following some strong defensive efforts in the first 21?2 innings, Milford (6-5) put itself in control when it busted out six runs in the bottom of the third on a trio of home runs while the rain picked up.

“I think they just got some good pitches to hit and at the time their pitcher had not started using her changeup,” said Milford coach Jim Rines. “They were able to square the ball up and good things happen when you do that.”

With two outs and one on, Jen Carson drilled a shot down the third baseline and over the wall for the game’s first runs. Julia Mazzeo and Jen Dupuis followed Carson’s act by getting aboard to set up a three-run home run by Erin Tyrrell.

Ensuing batter Beth Brewer plopped a single shot blast over the fence to cap off the inning’s production.

“I saw the first pitch and thought I’m going to go,” Tyrrell said of her home run. “It was right down the middle, I’ll take it.”

The Spartans cranked out 13 hits against Merrimack Valley pitcher Kerry Fedion, who struck out two.

“We made a couple of physical and mental errors which allowed base runners and when they got base runners they certainly didn’t miss anything that she threw over the plate,” said Merrimack Valley coach Sam York. “We came out a little flat. We need to make adjustments quicker when we’re in the batter’s box. It’s certainly not a lack of effort. Milford is a good team.”

Mazzeo accounted for the seventh run in the bottom of the fourth when she was able to steal home.

The Pride (5-6) countered with an RBI from Kaitlyn Hill in the top of the fifth and another by Brittany Fisher in the top of the sixth, but could have had more if not for the stingy Milford defense.

Tyrrell struck out five batters and allowed seven hits, but was able to lay confidence in her fielders to back her up. They opened up the game with back-to-back 1-2-3 innings.

“They help me out a lot,” said Tyrrell of her defense. “They had my back which was nice.”

In the top of the fourth, Merrimack Valley had runners at second and third on a hit and a walk, but a pop out to Carson extinguished the threat.

The Pride nearly rallied in the final frame when a couple of hits and a walk loaded the bases with two outs, but were foiled again when Fisher’s grounder was corralled by shortstop Delaney Parker for a force out at second base.

Merrimack Valley stranded nine runners in all.

“There were a couple of hits that were hit hard and I thought we could’ve made a play, but overall both teams played very strong defense,” said York.