Horvack, Speringo lead Milford Little League softball to New England championship game

BRISTOL — Sophia Horvack allowed two hits and struck out eight, Emily Speringo had an RBI triple and Chloe Capalbo added two hits and an RBI to lead Milford to a 6-2 win over Maine in the New England Regional Little League Softball tournament on Tuesday at Breen Field at the A. Bartlett Giamatti Little League Leadership Training Center.

Milford advances to the New England Regional championship game on Thursday at noon at Breen Field. Milford will play the winner of Wednesday’s 4 p.m. loser’s bracket final between Vermont and Maine.

“When we have a lead, I change my strategy a bit and have my pitchers come after hitters,” Milford manager Mike Bonanno said. “Sophia pitched a great game and our defense was solid. Our defense is amazing. Scoring the first run of the game is also huge for us.

“It gives us some fuel and mometum going foward. It feels great to get to the champioship game. Winning tonight was important because we wanted the day off tomorow. If we lost tonight and had to play (losers bracket) tomorrow, and then if we won and went to the championship game, that would have meant playing three straight days. We didn’t want to do that, our goal was to avoid that.”

Horvack had a no-hitter going through five innings. In the sixth inning with a runner on second, Maine’s Emma Twomey belted a two-run inside-the-park home run to left field to make it 6-2.

“My fastball was really working for me tonight,” Horvack said. “On that home run I got the fastball a little too much inside and she hit it. Overall I was happy. Our defense played great.”

In the top of the first inning, Milford used its usual speed and aggressive baserunning to get its offese going.

Lily Stankevich scored to give Milford a 1-0 lead. Stankevich singled to left field. With Chloe Capalbo at bat, Stankevich stole second base and kept running when the catcher’s throw to second flew into center field.

Milford strung together five straight hits in the third inning to take control of the game with a 5-0 lead. Emiy Speringo had an RBI triple and Choe Capalbo and Julia Scibek added RBI singles.

Miford made it 6-0 in the sixth inning on an RBI single by Maddy Bonanno, the manager’s daughter.

Milford 6, Maine 2

Milford104 001— 6 12 1

Maine000 002— 2 2 1

Reese Bryant and Emma Twomey; Sophia Horvack and Ariella DiOrio