Milford Little League 12Us record-setting summer
Milford Little League’s 12U softball team record-setting summer came to end in the East Region championship game at the A. Bartlett Giamatti Little League Leadership Training Center’s Leon J. Breen Field on Saturday.
“I told the girls that they made our town and state proud,” Milford manager Scott Worzel said after Pennsylvania won a 3-2 decision to take the title. “We had the leadoff runner on. If that ball gets through. ... Hats off to Pennsylvania, that was a great defensive play.”
Milford had last swings and had hope after Madyson Bull was hit by a pitch leading off the sixth.
Talia Salanto then ripped a line shot that was snared by Pennsylvania second baseman Gianna Goodman, who doubled the speedy Bull off first. Pennsylvania pitcher Alizabeth Schuler ended the drama with a strikeout.
Pennsylvania will compete in the Little League World Series in Portland, Ore. from Aug 7-14. Pennsylvania won the 2018 East Region title and placed second at the World Series. Waterford, in 2007, is the last Connecticut champion. Orange won the title in 2005 and were runners-up at the World Series.
Pennsylvania (4-0) broke a 2-2 tie in the fifth.
Schuler doubled, and an error put runners on second and third. Sage Lorson lofted a fly ball to left field. Schuler scored, but Milford pitcher Judy Tarczali cut off Grace Hess’ throw and fired to Salanto covering second to double off the runner.
Aggressive baserunning has been a staple for Milford throughout the postseason, and Thursday was no exception.
Bull turned a Mya Dawid single into the game’s first run in the bottom of the first inning. Bull used her quickness to beat out a one-out bunt single. Dawid singled up the middle, and when the ball was bobbled, Bull took off for third. Sliding in safely, she scored when the ball got away.
“The first day I got to watch all the games and I saw Connecticut was a great team,” Pennsylvania manager Cory Goodman said. “We came out firing on all cylinders in that first game (a 10-0 win). Today, they played back (in the outfield), but we snuck a few in.”
Pennsylvania had defeated New Jersey 4-2 and Massachusetts 5-1 to open the regional before putting together a 10-hit attack when Schuler one hit Milford on Tuesday night. Milford was coming off a 12-10 extra inning victory over New York earlier in the day.
Tarczali struck out two batters in Pennsylvania’s two-run second inning. A pair of one-out walks, an error on a fielder’s choice, and Gianna Goodman’s RBI single to right made it 2-1.
The toughest out for Tarczali came when she enticed Schuler to pop out to Bull at first with two down and two runners in scoring position. Schuler had hit three triples the first time the teams met.
“Judy did a great job mixing pitches and her spots,” Worzel said. “We won a lot of games by being aggressive and we didn’t change our approach. The girls played awesome.”
Milford’s Angelina Robinson delivered home the tying run in the bottom of the fourth.
Dawid walked. Taking the extra base again proved vital for Milford, as she went to second on a wild pitch and advanced to third when the ball was misplayed. Robinson ground out to the right side to plate the run.
Milford’s Teagan Mulvihill singled to open the second and Haley Stroffolino bunted her to second. Schuler kept the ball in the infield to leave her stranded.
Robinson in center field made a great catch in the gap after Lily Reidy had singled in the third.
Tarczali allowed one earned run, gave up four hits with four strikeouts and two walks.
Schuler, who had struck out 13 batters and walked only one in her first two games in the circle, struck out three and walked one.
EAST REGION ROUNDUP
Milford took a firm hold with a six-run first inning and defeated Vermont, 10-0, in its first game. The locals used 10 hits to shorten the game by two innings in a game that took only one hour to complete.
Mya Dawid had three hits, including a triple, and drove in four runs. “It feels good to know people count on you,” Dawid said of batting with runners on base. “Most pitchers, because I’m a lefty, try to pitch me outside so I just go with it.”
Talia Salanto reached base three times, scored three runs, and pitched three innings of one-hit ball to earn the win. She struck out five. “I was nervous,” said Salanto, who found out she would start the game during pre-game warmups. “I got excited when my fastball and drop pitch were working. I got momentum after the strikeouts (in the first inning).”
After a strikeout/passed ball allowed a hustling Teagan Garfield to reach base, Milford came up with four consecutive singles in its first at bat. Included in the rally were two-run singles from Dawid and Avery Falco. Madyson Bull (RBI), Salanto, Grace Hess (RBI) and Emily Krauss added singles.
Dawid tripled home Salanto (walk) in the second and scored on Angie Robinson’s run-producing fielder’s choice grounder to make it 8-0.
Salanto singled to open the fourth, went to second on a wild pitch, and crossed the plate on Dawid’s fourth RBI hit of the game. Dawid advanced two bases on pitches that went to the backstop, before Hess ended the game with her run-scoring single.
Salanto struck out the first two batters she faced in a perfect first inning. The righty added two more K’s in the second and had a hand in all six outs. Salanto struck out the side around a single by Addyson Longe in the third. Judy Tarczali came in to pitch in the top of the fourth for Connecticut and promptly set three batters down on strikes. Vermont’s leftfielder Chloe Comstock took a single away from Kelsea Flanagan in the second. Shortstop Ruby Dasaro robbed Bull of an RBI single in the third with a catch in the tip of her glove.
Milford Little League brought an 11-1 record into the East Region. They lost their first District game 3-0, before winning five consecutive games by a combined 48-4. They won Sectionals in three games (18-7 run differential) and matched that feat in the state tournament (29-2).
Pennsylvania had handed Connecticut Milford its first defeat, 10-0 in five innings. Alizabeth Schuler was the difference maker for Pennsylvania. She slugged three long triples, scored three runs, including the 10 run-rule decisive tally in the bottom of the fifth. Schuler also handcuffed the strong Milford lineup from the pitching circle. She limited Milford, which was batting .422 as a team, to one hit. In the first two games, Schuler gave up eight hits and two earned runs. She struck out 13 batters and didn’t allow a walk.
For Milford, Bull singled with one out in the top of the first. Avery Falco drew the first walk in the regional off Schuler when she took a 3-2 pitch for a free pass to open the third. Kriebel made a fine playing coming in on Judy Tarczali’s liner into the gap for the first out. Falco went to third on a fielder’s choice grounder and a wild pitch. But Chelsea Harrison stayed with a curving fly ball to left by Bull to end the inning. Angelina Robinson reached on an infield error with two down in the fourth, as Schuler set down 9-of-10 batters.
Milford had defeated New York, 12-10, in the morning. Milford took a 6-1 lead and then rallied back from a 9-9 tie after regulation to win with three runs in the top of the seventh. Judy Tarczali, who had started the game, came back in relief in the final frame. New York had a run across and the tying run on second base when Tarczali put the last out in the book. Tarczali had a hit and drove in two runs.
Talia Salanto led an 11-hit attack with three singles, good for two RBIs and two runs scored. Grace Hess, who had a key RBI single in extra innings, and Mya Dawid (run scored) had two hits each. Avery Falco had five quality at bats, including a hit, three walks, an RBI and two runs scored. Teagan Garfield scored a run and had a big two-out run scoring single.
Madyson Bull stroked an RBI double and scored a run. Kelsea Flanagan drove in a run, scored a run and had a base hit. Angelina Robinson scored two runs. Emily Krauss and Haley Stroffolino each crossed the plate once.
Milford received contributions from its entire roster. Madyson Bull was 5 for 13 with a double, two RBIS, four runs scored and two walks. Mya Dawid drove in six runs, scored seven, with a triple, a walk, and was 7 for 13 at the plate. Avery Falco had a .629 on-base percentage with two hits, four walks, three RBIs and two runs scored. Kelsea Flanagan had two hits, knocked in four runs and scored a run in seven trips to the plate. Teagan Garfield had two hits, three walks, scored three runs and had an RBI. Grace Hess batted .500 (5 for 10) with four RBIs and a run scored. Emily Krauss scored two runs with a walk in four plate appearances. Teagan Mulvihill batted .333 with two hits. Angelina Robinson scored three runs and drove in two. Talia Salanto was 7 for 14 hitting with six runs scored, two RBIs, and a pair of walks. Haley Stroffolino scored a run and was hit by a pitch. Judy Tarczali had a hit, a walk, and drove in two runs.