PIKE CREEK – Padua took a two-run lead into the seventh inning of its softball game May 4 against Milford, and the Pandas retired the first batter of that final frame. A few runners got on, however, and an error opened the door for the Lady Bucs to score five runs for a 7-4 victory at Midway Softball Complex.
The early innings of the game were ruled by the pitchers, Padua’s Abby Cunningham and Milford’s Morgan Abbott. Cunningham was in trouble just once through five innings. That came in the first, when Rajene Bowe tripled to open the game and Darby Brennan laid down a bunt single, followed by a stolen base, to put runners on second and third with no outs.
Cunningham picked up two strikeouts sandwiched around a popup to escape that jam, and she was masterful over the next four innings. The Lady Bucs had just three baserunners from the second through the fifth, and Julia Reed’s leadoff single in the fifth was the only one who reached via a hit.
Abbott was just as good, facing just two batters above the minimum through four. Padua did not have a hit until Cunningham singled with two outs in the fourth, and through that inning the Pandas did not have a runner advance past first.
The Pandas finally found their swing in the home half of the fifth. Katie Twardowski led off the frame with a mash to left field, which did not need the stiff wind’s help to get over the fence for a home run. Two outs later, Amelia Giordano sent a ball into shallow right field on a check swing, and Caitlin Baxter smashed a ball off a fielder’s glove for another hit. Hannah Williams then slid safe into first on an infield single, and Giordano scurried home from second. A fourth consecutive single, this one by Alex Musial, brought Baxter home.
Milford got two of those back in the sixth. Megan Fry launched a home run to left field to start things off, and Reed singled later in the inning to score Morgan Petty, who also had reached on a single.
Twardowksi scored again for Padua in the sixth. She doubled with one out, took third on a wild pitch and beat the throw home on a ground ball by Gabriela Frabizzio.
Genesis Chamberlayne helped the Lady Bucs in their big seventh inning with the team’s second home run of the afternoon.
Padua (9-4) finished with nine hits. The Pandas head to Canby Park in Wilmington on Tuesday to meet St. Elizabeth at 3:45 p.m.
The Lady Bucs won their fourth straight to improve to 8-4. They continue a six-game road trip tomorrow again in New Castle County when they travel to William Penn for a 4 p.m. start, weather permitting.