By Kevin Eickman
Taking a 7-3 lead into the top of the sixth inning at home is usually a sure thing for sophomore pitcher Haylee Scruggs. However, when your opponent is highly regarded 10-3 Sussex Tech all bets are off. That was the case this past Friday as the Buccaneers hosted the Ravens.
Tech proved they were not going to go quietly as they loaded up the bases with noone out. With the strike zone looking to shrink a bit to Scruggs, Tech wasted little time getting back into the game. It was only after two runs had scored, that Scruggs was able to get out of the inning.
Milford was quick to respond in the bottom of the inning, plating a pair to once again extend the lead to four runs at 9-5.
Tech would not go quietly however, once again loading up the bases with nobody out. After yielding a run, and still faced with a bases loaded situation and nobody out, Scruggs looked to be in serious trouble. Trailing just 9-6 it looked as if Tech was about ready to pile it on, as the next batter up for the Ravens stroked what looked to be another hit into center field. The runner on second base was forced to hold up however, giving freshman Rajene Bowe the opportunity she needed to make a play.
“I saw I had a chance to get the runner at third, so I just made the throw” Bowe stated. And what a throw it was, getting the force out at third base and giving Scruggs her first out of the inning.
With runners on first and second for Tech, the next batter up hit a ball headed out of play on the first base side. As senior first baseman Kylie Nelson headed towards the fence, she reached up and caught the ball before it could land safely. With Nelson’s back to the play, the Tech runner on second base tried to take advantage of the situation by tagging up and heading for third, big mistake. Nelson wheeled and threw a strike to third baseman Kate Richard, who applied the tag that ended the game .
“Our team made big plays when they had to today, it was great to see,” Coach Drew Holleger stated. The thrilling 9-7 win improved Milford’s record to 12-4 on the season.
Earlier in the week Milford had hosted Lake Forest in the first ever Battle of the Bat. With the Bucs earning a 5-2 victory in the game, coupled with their win on Friday, it sets up a huge final two games of the regular season for the Bucs. Up first is a road game at Laurel, where Milford will face off against arguably the best pitcher in Delaware, junior Regan Green. Holleger knows that Milford will have their hands full against the 12-2 Bulldogs.
“That is a very tough team over there and that is one fantastic pitcher they have in Green,” commented Holleger. “We know it’s going to be a challenge for us, so we’re just going to go down there and give it everything we’ve got.”
Milford will close out the regular season on Thursday as they host another tournament bound team, Indian River. Thursday will be senior recognition day as well, with festivities set to start at 4:05.