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Perfection, Milford Softball Finishes 20-0

It was the last game of the regular season. The Milford High softball team had qualified for the district tournament weeks ago and wrapped up its fifth consecutive Mid-Wach "A" League title. But the Scarlet Hawks were one game away from a perfect regular season, and found themselves in an unusual position.
Milford trailed 2-1 against a strong Acton-Boxborough team in the 5th inning. It marked only the second time all season MHS had been behind in a game and the first earned runs allowed by start pitcher Shannon Smith. The Hawks were able to bounce back, however, scoring twice in the bottom of the fifth to take a 3-2 lead that would hold up, giving them their second 20-0 regular season in the past three years.
"I don't think our concern was ever to go 20-0, we want to get back to that last game," said head coach Brian Macchi. "We talked about it a little more as the season went on and the girls began to gain a lot of confidence winning every game against the tough schedule we had. We hope to use that confidence in the tournament."
Macchi also hopes his team can use the hard-fought final win to its benefit. "I thought we responded well when (Acton-Boxborough) went ahead and reacted to a bit of adversity," he said. "They tried some different things against us at the plate and got a timely hit when they needed it. We were able to minimize the damage though and I think it was important for everyone to realize, including the coaches, that 'yes, teams can score against us.'"
You'd forgive them if they thought otherwise. Those two earned runs brought Smith's ERA from 0.00 to 0.11. She finished the regular season with 15 shutouts and a strikeout total that looks like a typo if you don't know otherwise; 286 Ks in 130 innings pitched.
Some theories say it's better to lose a game during the regular season to take some of the pressure off when the play-offs come around, but Macchi doesn't buy into that. "When you're talking about sports and the competitive juices get going, you want to win, in any sport on any given day," he said. "We approached each individual game and came out on top 20 times and all it did was give us a second season. We can have the same game-to-game approach, but now everything is magnified."
Macchi said 20-0 was rarely brought up during the season, but after the come-from-behind win against Acton-Boxborough, he did congratulate his team on their accomplishment. "The reaction was what any coach would want to see from his or her team," he said. "They took it in stride. They know they have a bigger reason to get back to practice the next day."




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