PLAINVILLE, Mass. – Tuesday afternoon’s game between Milford and King Philip at “Butch” Watters, Jr. Field in Plainville was a showdown between not only two of the best teams in the Hockomock but also in Div. 1 South.
KP needed only one inning to take control.
Kali Magane struck out two in a perfect top of the first and then the Warriors came to bat in the bottom half. KP sent 11 batters to the plate, scored six runs and pretty much wrapped up a dominant victory that keeps the Warriors just one game back of Taunton in the Kelley-Rex title race.
Magane struck out 10 over five innings and allowed only one hit to the potent Milford lineup, while Jenn Hutnyan smashed two homers and drove in five runs, as KP rolled to a 12-0 win.
It is the sixth win in a row for the Warriors and in five of those games they have scored at least 10 runs. KP scored 13 against defending state champion St. Peter Marian and 12 against Franklin, Foxboro, and now Milford.
“Everybody’s making solid contact,” said KP coach Norm Beauchemin about the Warriors’ offensive attack. “Even most of our outs were loud. It was a great game.”
Beauchemin was asked how good this team can be when it stays focused. He responded, “Offense is never the issue. Whether we can give the other team three outs or give them extra bases by throwing the ball around, that’s where our issue is, but if Magane throws the ball the way she did today we don’t have to worry about the ball being put in play.”
Magane, the reigning HockomockSports.com Player of the Year, struck out two batters in each of the first three innings and the only hit that the Hawks mustered in her five innings of work came when Maggie Farrell beat out a grounder to second and got a generous call at first.
“They’ve got what four kids batting .500 or better and she shut them down,” said Beauchemin of Magane. “She’s throwing better this year than last year.”
The Boston University-commit struck out the side in the fifth inning to close out her afternoon’s work and finished with 10 strikeouts overall.
The performance was made a little easier by the Warriors’ offense, which had essentially wrapped up the win before Magane stepped in the circle for the second inning.
Christa Wagner led-off with a single to center and the Penn State-commit promptly stole second and third. Hailey McCasland knocked in the first run with a single to left. After Ali Atherton struck out Elise Pereira, Hutnyan reached on an error and Sydney Phillips beat out a bunt single, when no one covered first, to load the bases.
Ashley Hession broke open the game by lining a double over the rightfielder’s head to bring in a pair of runs. Magane helped her own cause with a single that drove in two more and then scored on Brooke Taute’s single to right, which chased Atherton from the game after retiring just one batter and with six runs already home.
“They’re a great team 1-14 and they have girls on the bench who would start for most teams and we do too,” said Milford coach Steve DiVitto. “It was two good teams doing battle today and they obviously had a better game.”
Kelley Reichert came in and the first hitter she faced reached on an error, but Reichert was able to get a pop up and a grounder to end the inning.
Milford coach Steve DiVitto was asked if that was the worst inning of the season for the Hawks. He responded, “Yes, without a doubt.
“But, you know what, that’s going to happen. During a season, you can’t expect your team to play perfect defense all year long. You cannot give good teams more than three outs and we gave them six or seven.”
KP added two more runs in the second. Pereira lined a triple into the rightfield corner and Hutnyan lined a shot over the centerfield fence for an 8-0 lead.
In the sixth inning, Hutnyan took over in the circle and Milford tried to get a rally going. Emily Piergustavo had a single to deep short and Farrell (2-for-3) ripped a single right up the middle. After Jess Tomaso walked, Milford had the bases loaded, but Hutnyan got a pair of fly balls to escape the jam.
The Warriors walked off with the win in the sixth. Meghan Gorman started the inning with a double and stole third. She scored on an infield single by Wagner. A sacrifice bunt and a single by Pereira put two runners on for Hutnyan and she ended the game with a blast to center.
“Bad at-bat, bad inning, you’ve got to turn the page and I think that the one thing that we did do today was that we did battle,” said DiVitto. “After that first inning, outside of that, it was a tight ball game.
“We know if we want to get where we want to be we’re going to have to go through a team like that, so we’re going to have to be better and I know we will be.”
KP (11-3, 9-1) will look to continue its winning streak on Wednesday against North Attleboro. Milford (10-3, 7-2) has lost two of its last three games but will try to turn things around against Foxboro on Thursday.
Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.