Kaley Chase and Natasha Skillen hit two-run doubles during a seven-run fourth inning that carried visiting Milford to a 10-7 softball victory at Richfield Springs on Wednesday that clinched the Tri-Valley League East Division title for the Wildcats.
The Wildcats trailed, 6-1, entering the fourth.
In addition to the doubles by Chase and Skillen, Maddy Zenir, Addy Lawson and Marina Steele hit RBI singles in the fourth inning as the Wildcats took an 8-6 lead.
“Oh, my God, it was like the Fouth of July,” Milford coach Jim Weir said of his team’s fourth inning. “We just started ripping it. It was like something that was contagious. The kids gutted it out. They decided they weren’t going to be turned away.”
Richfield Springs (10-5, 10-3) needed a victory to force a tiebreaker.
The Indians started fast, scoring five times in the first inning, when Rebecca Smith hit a two-run double and Meghan Cantwell had an RBI single.
“We got the jump on them, but we lost traction halfway through,” RS coach Jay Lehmann said. “We gave it away on some bad base-running mistakes. We were overly aggressive running and made some mistakes that cost us.”
Winning pitcher Kaitlin VanWinkler struck out eight and overcame 12 walks.
Lawson, Kaley Chase and Maddy Zenir had three hits apiece for Milford (14-1, 12-1), which received two hits from Serena Chase.
The Wildcats will play West Division champion Edmeston at 5 p.m. Friday in the crossover final at Oneonta State. Milford is looking for its first league title since beating Gilbertsville-Mount Upton, 22-5, in the 2003 final. Edmeston’s last title came in 2007, when it beat Schenevus, 3-2, for the last of three straight championships.
Milford downed Edmeston, 4-3, during the season.
“It was a great ballgame,” Weir said.
Smith and Cantwell had two hits apiece for RS, which is off until sectionals start a week from today.
“It’s unfortunate we gave this one away,” Lehmann said, “but I’m really proud of the girls. This is the best season Richfield Springs has had in about two decades.”