Parker leads Milford past Merrimack Valley

MILFORD – Sophomore Delaney Parker pitched a complete game for the Milford High School softball team while only allowing one run in an 8-1 victory against visiting Merrimack Valley Monday at Keyes Field.

“She pitched extremely well after the first inning,” said Spartans head coach Jim Rines. “All we want from her is just put the ball in play, limit the walks, not (allow) big innings. She has done a great job.”

The Pride (3-4) took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. The Spartans (6-1) showed their hitting ability by tallying five runs in the bottom of the second.

Erin Tyrrell began the inning by reaching first base on a walk. Jen Carson followed up with a single. With runners on first and second and no one out Rachel Nelson recorded a hit that scored Tyrrell to even the score at 1-1.

Cora Rogers batted in Carson to make the score 2-1. Nelson eventually crossed home plate to extend the lead to 3-1. Parker knocked in Rogers to make the score 4-1. Milford freshman catcher Stephanie Bishop doubled ,and in the process batted in Christina Arnoldy to give the Spartans a 5-1 advantage.

“We made all the hitters take a strike,” said Rines of what was working for his team in the second inning. “In the first inning, we swung at five pitches and we got ourselves out so we took a first strike and then we got better at-bats and then we were able to get a couple base runners and a couple big hits there.”

Parker answered the bell on the mound by retiring the side in order in the third inning.

Merrimack Valley was threatening in the fourth inning with runners on first and second and no one out but Parker and the Spartans got out of the jam without allowing a run.

Milford added to its lead in the bottom of the fourth, when Carley Holtshouser plated Bishop. Holtshouser scored in the inning when she was batted in by Julia Mazzeo to give the Spartans a 7-1 advantage.

Parker pitched the Spartans to a one-two-three inning in the fifth, as the Pride flied out to left field twice and Parker struck out one hitter. She only allowed six hits, and only four over the course of the final six innings.

Milford finished the scoring in the sixth when Mazzeo slammed a double that scored Bishop.

Bishop did a little bit of everything for the Spartans. She tallied two hits at the plate, reached on a walk, scored two runs and made three catches on popups right around home plate during the course of the sixth and seventh inning.

“She had a great game today,” said Rines. “She has had a terrific season to start, so she’s a great addition and she’s working hard.”

The Spartans showed the depth of their lineup by having seven different people score runs and six people contribute with at least one RBI. Milford has scored eight or more runs in all seven games this season. They have scored in double figures four times.

“That is one thing that we’re going to do, we’re going to swing the bat,” said Rines. “And it doesn’t matter how fast the pitching is or whatever it is, they are very good hitters. Just need a little bit more discipline at times but they’re young.”