Bishop belts three home runs to life Milford softball team

Stephanie Bishop blased three homers and drove in eight runs on Saturday to lead the defending champion No. 4 Spartans back to the semifinals with a 12-7 win over No. 5 Plymouth.

Amanda Atkinson ripped a three-run homer for Milford (16-3), while Carley Holtshouser went 3 for 4 with three runs scored.

Paige Delier was 2 for 3 with a walk and Delaney Parker went 2 for 2 and drew a pair of walks while picking up the win in the circle.

The Spartans play No. 1 Souhegan at Southern New Hampshire University on Thursday at 7 p.m.

On May 31, Milford reached Saturday’s quarterfinal against Plymouth with a convincing 4-0 home win against Kingswood.

A quick tag-and-throw double play with the bases loaded was all that prevented the Spartans from getting any runs in the first inning, but they wouldn’t have to wait long for another opportunity.

Carley Holtshouser brought home Rachael Nelson and Delaney Parker with a two-out double in the second inning to give the lead to the Spartans.

Jen Carson evaded a tag at third after a sharp hit to short by Stephanie Bishop and Carson would add the third run a few seconds later following a throwing error by Kingswood third baseman Kylie McEwing. That was followed by an RBI bunt from Parker that would bring Bishop home for the fourth run.

Parker ended the day 2 for 4 at the plate, also advancing to first in the fourth on a strikeout that found its way past Kingswood catcher Courtney Drew. However, Parker’s biggest contribution to Milford’s success came on the mound.

She allowed just two hits and a walk on the day while striking out ten. Parker retired the last seven Kingswood batters in a row, and had three stretches with consecutive strikeouts.

Milford manager Jim Rines praised Parker’s ability to get ahead in the count, with Parker throwing first pitch strikes against 16 of the 23 batters she faced during the contest.

“(She) located her fastball, all four corners of the plate, her riseball worked and that was pretty much it,” he said. “She pretty much dominated in the circle and did a great job.”

While Parker felt confident throughout the contest, she noted that her confidence began to grow as the lead grew thanks to timely offense and defense.

“I feel like we’ve been doing pretty well as a team. I may not have had as many strikeouts in other games, but I know the team’s behind me to make plays,” she said. “So, I don’t have to strikeout every out everyone, I just have to get outs.”