Milford softball tops SHS

MILFORD – Jim Rines knew that the usually potent Milford High School girls softball bats wouldn’t likely be booming on April 19 against a tough Souhegan team.

But the Spartans, like a defending state champion should, found other ways to pull out a 4-1 win at Keyes Park.

“When we face good teams and good pitching, you’re going to have to execute,” the Milford coach said, his team off to a 4-0 start in Division II.

“I knew we weren’t going to put up double figures and all that stuff. It’s a rivalry, it’s great, the kids get up for it, and for the most part it was a clean, well-pitched game.”

For much of the game, Milford’s Delaney Parker and Souhegan freshman Cammie Whitney were mowing hitters down. Delaney allowed just one run on four hits and fanned 10, while Whitney gave up just three hits while striking out nine.

The difference? A couple of walks and errors. Whitney issued two free passes in the first and Milford’s Paige Delier made her pay with an RBI single for a 1-0 lead.

Then, two Whitney throwing errors on bunt attempts in the second led to two Spartan unearned runs. Milford’s Carley Holtshouser had a sac fly in the frame.

Milford extended the lead to 4-0 in the third on Jen Carson’s solo leadoff homer to left.

But that was it, which is why Souhegan coach Andrea Bruneau wasn’t too concerned after the loss that dropped her team to 2-1.

“We expected it to be a good test,” Bruneau said, adding she was impressed with Whitney’s poise in her first varsity start in the circle. “We gave them a couple of extra outs. … It definitely is a good barometer. I definitely don’t like losing, but this was a good, productive game. We definitely learned a lot about ourselves.”

The Sabers did manage a run in the sixth when Mary Rothhoff doubled leading off and scored on Carrie Speer’s two-out RBI single.

But that was all they could muster.

“It was nice to get an early lead,” Rines said. “We had that cushion. It was big. And today we got the big hit.”

With Parker’s big arm on the other end, and feeling no pressure right now to repeat.

“Honestly, we’re just taking it one game at a time right now,” Parker said. “I was talking to the team before the game on how I feel really good going out there pitching because they’re out there behind me making plays.”