WORCESTER — Meg Rico and her ground-dragging delivery had turned heads heading into the Division 1 state final. Ever since the sophomore right-hander was thrust into spotlight after King Philip starting pitcher Maggie Quealy was injured, Rico had racked up 19 strikeouts and allowed only six hits through 15 innings. Once again, she didn’t disappoint.
Rico fanned 11 batters and allowed four hits Saturday night at Rockwood Field to help lead the Warriors in a 10-1 victory over Milford and a state title.
Rico went to work quickly in the first, forcing back-to-back line outs to junior third baseman Anna Kelley, who showed off her range while diving into foul territory for the second. Rico got sophomore Taylor Archer to pop out on her sixth and final pitch of the inning — all six were for strikes.
Shannon Smith (six strikeouts, seven walks, seven hits) struggled with control in the bottom of the inning, throwing 42 pitches and only half for strikes. Kelley’s one-out bloop single over the head of second baseman Nicole Hanley scored the first run. Senior Casey McCourt’s double to right in the next at-bat brought two more Warriors home. Junior Kelsey Gray singled to center, scoring Kelley, and courtesy runner Alyssa Siegmann
scored the fifth run and final run of the inning for King Philip on a throwing error.
Milford (24-1) took one back in the second when freshman Caroline Fairbanks drilled a shot to deep right center field. The Scarlet Hawks had a chance to chip away in the third, but with one out and the bases loaded, Rico got the next two batters to swat at air and escaped the jam.
King Philip (26-1) cushioned its lead in the third, when sophomore Olivia Godin clocked a two-out homer over the fence in left to push the margin to 7-1 before adding three more runs in the fifth.
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our winter correspondents:
- Emily McCarthy | @EmilyMcCahthy | BPS correspondent
- Jake Fischer | @GlobeFischer | Boys basketball
- Michelle Fenelon | @michfenelon | Girls basketball
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Boys hockey
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls hockey
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail email@example.com.