By Balinda Zimmerman

The District baseball and softball games were hosted by Milan High School this year with games played by Onsted, Tecumseh, Chelsea and Milan beginning at 3pm on Friday, June 3, 2016.
First to meet in District play was Chelsea vs. Tecumseh with scores finishing at Chelsea 2 to Tecumseh 1.  Next up it was Milan facing Onsted with a final score of Milan 3 and Onsted with 2. That second game was a solid game played by both teams and some concern in the Milan stands as to whether or not Milan would hold the lead to pull off the win. They did!  Milan then faced Chelsea for a nail biting 9 inning game under the lights.
Bethany Hogg played another outstanding game of her career finishing the night with a resounding 242 strike outs for the season. It was a team effort but one would have to say that Sam Hill pulled it together in the last game and possibly played her best fielding of the year against Chelsea. For being down 8 to 1 in the 4th inning it was an amazing display of perseverance and determination on the part of Milan Lady Big Reds to come back strong for the win.
It was 8 to 8 in the 8th inning with bases fully loaded for Chelsea and two outs (up and down) when a pop up was hit by #16 and caught by Milan’s Sam Hill for the shutdown. It was now up to Milan to come back and post a run, any run for the win.  Sam Hill was first to bat and hit a base hit, then Sam Maurer took the plate and Hill stole to second for a tight slide in to clear the base.  As Maurer took the bat and hit a pop up Hill was forced back to second and was out before she reached the plate.  Bethany Hogg was up and her line drive was caught for the third out and the girls knew it was going to be stress repeated.
In the 9th inning nerves were now taunt and the stands were on their toes.  The first Chelsea batter was a strike out by Hogg while the second was a tap and out before she reached first base.  The third runner hit a pop up that was caught by Foster as both she and Hogg fielded the ball. It was once again left up to Milan to get a run, any run on the board.
Jenna Stauch led off the plate for Milan landing one straight into the back of the right field but the fielding was just as good as the hit and she was called out at first to the dismay of many. Emily Mitchell stood up for Milan next and anticipation was building as some said she was due for a big play.  She did manage a great hit to left center field but again the fielding was exceptional and she managed only one base.  Mikayla Maurer was up next blasting one to left field that took a bounce and rested under the fence costing both she and Emily to be called back, limited to running only 2 bases. 
Undaunted, Chloe Duffiney took the bat and set solid even after letting two balls pass. On the third pitch she put a solid one to right field allowing just enough time for Emily to hit home plate and it was all over for the playoffs.  Milan had clinched the District playoffs and would be the ones holding the trophy. 
As the awards and trophy were handed out the night ended to the fireworks that were being shot off in downtown Milan in celebration of fair week.  It was as if Marty Ritchie knew when to blast them for the girls who had played their hearts out for the last game on the Milan field this season.

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