The pursuit of a second straight Division 1 girls; softball championship begins Saturday for Milford. The Scarlet Hawks (18-2) host Bishop Feehan (13-8) at 2 p.m.
Feehan’s schedule this season include matchups against Newton North, King Philip, Bridgewater-Raynham.
“We play a very difficult schedule,” said Bishop Feehan coach Bill Milot. “We prepare for the top teams around. We prepare for this.”
Bishop Feehan has met the challenging slate head-on, rallying to defeat then-unbeaten Abington team along with B-R and Dighton-Rehoboth.
Milford also has played a challenging nonleague schedule. The Scarlet Hawks defeated Newton North and Hopkinton, along with Central Mass. powers Grafton and Hopedale.
“There were no slouches in our nonleague schedule,” said Milford coach Steve DiVitto. “Their schedule is loaded. But we feel playing in the Hockomock League is challenging.”
Pitching has been a big part of both team’s successes this season. Feehan senior Shauna Hammill has posted a 9-3 record with a 1.84 earned-run average. Her opposite hurler on Saturday, Milford’s Kelley Reichert, was even more impressive going 17-2 with a 1.58 ERA.
“Kelley has been outstanding,” said DiVitto. “She’ll have to hit her spots and allow her defense to go to work. We’re a veteran team that’s battled tested.”
In Bishop Feehan’s preliminary round win over Attleboro, Hamill , worked out of several jams for the win. Attleboro had baserunners in all seven innings, and Hamill limited the damage to just one run on eight hits with five strikeouts.
“She was missing her spots a little bit here and there,” Milot said. “But she pulled it together which I knew she would. We hung in there in a one-run game, and she was keeping at one run.
“I knew she was going to do the job for us.”
Milford enters Saturday’s contest with back to back losses against King Philip and North Attleborough.
“We’ve moved on from those losses,” said DiVitto. “We’ve got to look forward at what we can control. Our plan is to play each day and look to come out strong on Saturday.”
In order to prepare for tournament play, Milford has held scrimmages on consecutive days against Division 3 South foe Abington and Hudson, the top seed in Division 2 Central.
“We like to challenge our girls down the stretch,” said DiVitto. “It’s a gauntlet. It’s very challenging to advance out of the South.
“When opportunities are there, we have to capitalize.”
“I know they’re a very good team,” said Milot. “I know they’re the reigning state champs. We have to bring our A-game.