The Milford High School varsity softball team opened the 2008 DIAA State Softball Tournament with a 4-0 win over Cape Henlopen on May 21, but fell short in upsetting top seeded Caravel by a score of 7-6 on May 24.

    The Milford High School softball team opened the 2008 DIAA State Softball Tournament with its best game of the season.

    Unfortunately, the last inning of its second round game proved to be Milford’s undoing.

    The ninth seeded Bucs opened the tournament May 21 with a 4-0 shutout over eighth seeded Cape Henlopen at Cape Henlopen High School.

    But in the second round, Milford squandered a 6-1 seventh inning lead over top seeded Caravel, ultimately losing 7-6.

    “To (Caravel’s) credit, they didn’t stop playing, and they certainly hit their way to victory,” Milford head coach Charles Darling said.

    Darling brought in freshman Janee Williams in relief of sophomore Morgan Culver at the start of the seventh, after Culver walked the first batter.

    It was a move he had made several times throughout the season, but one that just didn’t work this time around.

    “Their hits just found some spots,” Darling said. “It’s not like she pitched poorly or it was a case of us playing badly.

    “We certainly played really well too. It wasn’t a case of us losing a game as it was them winning it.”

    The loss erased a lot of the memories of Milford’s strong opening round win over the Vikings.

    Culver tossed seven strikeouts and gave up no walks, while pitching a complete game shutout.

    And she got the run support when she needed it.

    With two outs in the top of the third inning, Williams nailed a double into right centerfield.

    Sophomore second baseman Amber Andrews quickly drove her in with a double over second base. Andrews moved to third base on a wild throw home.

    And sophomore first baseman Marcy McKee brought Andrews home as the next batter. McKee knocked a single almost in the same place Andrews hit her ball over second base, allowing Andrews to score and making it 2-0 Milford.

    Andrews wasn’t done yet at the plate.

    Williams drew a walk in the fifth inning to get on base, and Andrews smashed a ball well over the 200-foot mark on the left field fence to make it 4-0 Milford.

    That score stood the rest of the game, as Culver mowed down three straight Cape batters in the bottom of the fifth, after the Vikings had gotten a hit into right field.

    “I think giving up that hit made me feel like I needed to buckle down a little more,” Culver said. “I just had to keep people off the bases and from getting a hit.

    “It was probably the best game I pitched all season, and I was really happy we got Cape.”

    Unfortunately, Milford’s high ended in the second round. But Darling reminded his players that only one team every year ends its season on a winning note.

    “One of our goals is always getting to the state tournament,” Darling said. “So getting there is a big positive.

    “We had a really nice season, even though we finished with a loss, you can’t let losing a game overshadow what you did to get (to the state tournament).”