Bucs best previously unbeaten Padua in softball

MILFORD — There’s still a long way to go.

But last week, the Milford High softball team took its first step toward salvaging the season.

Having not played in eight days since a 13-9 victory over Delmar, the Lady Buccaneers took the field last Thursday looking to win consecutive games for the first time this season. Standing in their way, however, was Padua. The Pandas entered the contest 9-0.

They left Milford 9-1.

Sophomore Morgan Abbott held Padua to two runs in a complete game victory. (The Chronicle/Jeff Mitchell)

Sophomore Morgan Abbott held Padua to two runs in a complete game victory. (The Chronicle/Jeff Mitchell)

Khya Reynolds’ bases loaded triple in the bottom half of the second inning and some key Milford defensive plays over the game’s final two innings led to a 3-2 Bucs win. The victory moved the team to 4-7 on the season and kept its state tournament hopes alive.

“They’re finally understanding that you’ve got to be a laser for all seven innings,” head coach Sean Brennan said of Milford’s mini-streak. “We’re not out of anything yet. I told the girls all year that if we get through the first 10 games united and tight that we can control our own destiny. All our goals and dreams for our season are available for us. The way you get there is being one-percent better every day and bringing enthusiasm to the ballpark.”

Milford was certainly united while clinging to its slim lead late in the contest.

Having already allowed Padua one run in the top of the fifth, Milford pitcher Morgan Abbott found herself in a bases loaded jam with just one out.

After falling behind in the count to Amelia Giordano, however, Abbott fielded a comebacker off the No. 9 hitter’s bat and fired home to catcher Courtney Kohel for the force out. Without hesitation, the freshman catcher threw to first in time to complete the inning-ending double play.

“Bases loaded and the score was 3-1 at the time, so I was just hoping we would get it fast enough,” Kohel said of her thoughts when the comebacker was hit. “You’re just thinking hurry up, get the ball out and to another base because we need it.”

Padua cut into the Milford lead again in the sixth frame but Abbott was able to get out of the inning without getting into any more trouble and in the seventh she pitched around a leadoff single to pick up the complete game victory.

Freshman catcher Courtney Kohel fires to first to complete a double play. (The Chronicle/Jeff Mitchell)

Freshman catcher Courtney Kohel fires to first to complete a double play. (The Chronicle/Jeff Mitchell)

“She’s battled all year,” Brennan said of Abbott. “The thing we’ve worked on the most is focus. Staying focused all seven innings.”

All three of Milford’s runs came in the bottom of the second thanks to one swing.

Standing in the box with the bases loaded and two outs, Reynolds cleared them all with a triple out of the nine-hole.

“I actually wasn’t nervous,” said Reynolds, a freshman. “I just felt like I couldn’t leave my girls out there and I had to drive them in. So I just fought hard and got the hit.”

Milford was looking to make it three straight wins over the weekend but a nonconference bout with St. Elizabeth was postponed due to the weather.

Tuesday the Bucs are scheduled to be at Christiana and the team will get Concord at home on Thursday. A day later, Milford is scheduled to return to conference play at Woodbridge.

From the Milford Chronicle Sports Desk

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