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Milford Softball Adds a New Title

Members of the Milford High School softball team practice inside on a rainy
June 10 in anticipation of defending their state championship. The team has captured the Southern Mass District Championship. Harry Platcow photo


New district, same result. For the past three seasons, the Milford High softball team has captured the Central Mass District Championship. After a couple of close calls in the states, the Scarlet Hawks broke through last season and won the Division 1 crown. This year, as a member of Eastern Mass and the South district, Milford was able to navigate an even deeper field, punctuating its fourth straight district title, this time Southern Mass District, with a 7-0 win over Bridgewater-Raynham last weekend.
"It's crazy to think about," said head coach Brian Macchi. "Changing from Central to South, everything was brand new. When we looked at the number of teams and the quality of teams in this tournament, we knew it was a big task and a big challenge for us."
Senior Shannon Smith worked through the four games of the tournament without allowing a run, but the road to the title was far from easy. After a 7-0 win over Dartmouth in the opening round, the Scarlet Hawks needed nine innings to knock off King Phillip 1-0. Smith struck out 15 in the win, and senior Rachel Levine plated fellow senior Lauren Hanna in the bottom of the 9th for the walk off win.
"That was a classic game, a classic match-up," said Macchi. Milford lost to King Phillip three years ago in the state title game and the two are now Hockomock League rivals.
The title game against Bridgewater-Raynham could have turned out very differently for Milford if not for some stellar defense. Smith struck out nine batters, a relatively low total by her lofty standards of striking out more than two batters per inning. Bridgewater-Raynham put runners on 2nd and 3rd in a scoreless game in the bottom of the first. Smith induced a line drive back to the mound, and doubled off the runner at third to end the threat. The University of Kentucky-bound Smith then provided the game-winning hit with a three-run home run in the third inning. Milford tacked on four more runs in the 5th, including a two-run single from another talented senior, Caroline Fairbanks.
"When [Fairbanks] has had chances to knock in runs, she has done it," said Macchi. "At bat after at bat, she puts good swings on the ball."
Smith, Levine, Fairbanks, Hanna, and Elizabeth Stallone make up a five-member senior class that completed the run of four district titles in four years. "To be able to write those seniors on the lineup card over the past four years, it's fortunate for me as a coach," said Macchi. "They all have great talent and they truly care about this program and want it to succeed."
That mentality is what Macchi believes allowed his team to move past a deep South district and play for a chance at defending a state championship.
"From the moment the last out was made in the last regular season game, this team has shown it is full of true competitors who want to step up," he said. "They want the ball and want the bat in their hands with the game on the line. They have been through it and know what it takes to get the job done and the need to raise your intensity level come playoff time. What we have accomplished is something they all should be very proud of."




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