Slugging Bucs win state softball title: Five homers power Milford past Delmar 17-9

ROXANA — Once the state tournament begins, seeding means very little.

The No. 11-seeded Milford softball team proved that Tuesday night.

In the 2017 DIAA state championship matchup at Lower Sussex Little League, Milford defeated No. 9-seeded Delmar, 17-9, with the help of five home runs.

“We strive to get one percent better every day,” head coach Sean Brennan said. “We felt like we hadn’t reached our peak, and tonight we did a nice job offensively and we came ready to play.”

Morgan Petty blasted a pair of homers and Megan Fry, C.J. Kohel and Nia Bowe added one each in the team’s 17-run championship performance.

Milford’s Morgan Petty is all smiles as she circles the bases after hitting a home run in Tuesday’s state championship victory over Milford. (Special to the Delaware State News/Chuck Snyder)

“Our kids love to hit, and we just have fun hitting,” Brennan said. “We bring the fun to the game. They’re a fun bunch, they love to hit, so all through the tournament having the first at-bats, we loved it.”

Milford’s C.J. Kohel gets congrats from Coach Sean Brennan after hitting a home run.

Delmar put a run on the scoreboard first, scoring on a RBI double from Haley Rogers in the bottom of the first inning to give the Wildcats the early 1-0 lead.

In the top of the second inning, Petty drilled a two-run homer over the outfield fence, scoring Nia Bowe and putting Milford ahead 2-1.

Bucs right-hander Morgan Abbott fires one in.

Petty’s first homer provided Milford’s offense with a spark.

“We talk about having a spark. It’s the spark that creates the fire, and so what’s awesome about these girls is it’s always a different spark every time,” Brennan said before being showered by the Gatorade jug by his players. “We just have so many sparks in our lineup, that it’s always one different kid that sparks us. We talk about that spark, leads to another spark, that leads to another spark, that leads to an explosion of 17-9.”

The next spark came in the bottom of the third inning.

Senior Rajene Bowe led off with a double to left field, and junior Darby Brennan drove in Bowe with a double to center field in the next at-bat.

The back-to-back doubles to begin the inning set-off the explosion Brennan had been referring to.

Fry added a two-run homer to straight-away center, putting Milford up 5-1, and the Bucs were just getting started in the third inning.

Shortstop Megan Fry of Milford scoops up the ball.

Milford Head Coach Sean Brennan sends batting signals.

Bowe’s bloop single to right field and a Petty walk set up catcher Kohel up for a three-run homer to left field. The team’s seven-run third inning explosion gave starter Morgan Abbott enough cushion to remain comfortable in the pitcher’s circle.

“They played amazing,” Abbott said of her teammates. “I couldn’t have done it without them, and they were really crushing the ball.”

Milford’s offense, with a seven-run lead after the third inning, continued to produce runs after breaking away with the early lead.

Petty hit her second homer in the fourth inning, a solo shot to the opposite field.

“We started off a little shaky, but once we got the rally going and we started hitting we got back to playing our ball,” Petty said. “We knew we had to stay laser-focused, stay focused on one pitch at a time, one inning at a time and keep our energy going.”

Milford’s Darby Brennan throws to first base after making the out at second.

Freshman Macey Myers hit an RBI double and Kalaysia Reynolds drove in a pair more runs with a single to right field to finish the fourth inning. One run in the fifth and four in the top of the seventh inning capped Milford’s scoring for the night.

“This is the greatest bunch of kids I’ve ever coached in my entire life,” Brennan said. “I love them to death. It’s an honor and a privilege to coach them.”

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