BUCKFIELD — Monmouth Academy coach Dave Kaplan wasn’t concerned about the Mustangs’ two-run lead holding up once he noticed the gleam in pitcher Brooklyn Federico’s eye. 

Federico retired the side in order in the bottom of seventh inning, allowing the Mustangs slide past Buckfield with a 6-4 softball victory Monday. 

Federico struck out eight batters and gave up four hits against the Bucks (6-1). Both teams were unbeaten entering the contest.

“She buckled down so hard when she had to,” Kaplan said, “and that last inning was hers. I could see it in her eye. That last inning was hers.”

But Federico admitted she was nervous with the top of the order coming to bat for the Bucks.

“… They are a very strong hitting team, and obviously two runs is really nothing,” the winning senior pitcher said. “It was definitely nerve-racking to go into it like that.


“This is my last year, so like we all just want to put it all in to the game. We really need the confidence boost because are a small team … and I have to be a role model to my team to really keep it up and keep up the energy.”

Buckfield’s Carmen Crockett also went the distance, striking out 15 batters and giving up seven hits. She held Monmouth scoreless in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.

Kaplan said the Mustangs’ resolve grew stronger as the 4-4 stalemate continued.

“Gut check time,” Kaplan said. “Brooklyn got tougher and tougher when she had to.”

The Mustangs (6-0) broke the tie with two runs in the top of the seventh inning.

Federico got on with a hit, took second on an errant throw and then made a play for third base. Another errant throw allowed her reach third, and Federico kept running, bolting home to score the tie-breaking run. Shanna Parsons followed with a triple and came home after Grace Levesque grounded out to the pitcher to make it a 6-4 game.


Then Federico secured the win by pitching a scoreless bottom of the seventh.

The Mustangs opened the game with an inside-the-park homer. Leadoff hitter Rileigh Chase ripped a deep shot to left field and sped around the bases to bring home Monmouth’s first run. Federico got on after being hit by a pitch and moved to second on a passed ball. She came home on Parsons’ RBI single. 

“That nice home run leading off the game was a trendsetter,” Kaplan said. “(The Bucks) came back. They played tough ball. They came back and had a good inning tied it up. Man, I telling you (we) just had the gut check.”

Monmouth extended its lead to four runs in the top of the third. Maddie Herr walked, Federico singled and Parsons walked, loading the bases. Bella Lyons hammered out a single to push across Herr and Federico for two runs, putting the Mustangs ahead 4-0. 

Buckfield cut the Mustangs’ lead to two in the bottom of the third. Brittany Carrier got on due to an error, moved to second and came home after Abby Prokey reached on another error and ended up at second base. Prokey came home when Emma Stevens-Belanger grounded out to third base. 

“They are the best team we’ve seen in six games,” Kaplan said of the Bucks. “We needed a game like this. We needed to win a game like this against a good opponent like this. These guys are really good.”

In the fifth inning, the Bucks lit up the outfield. Prokey and Chloee Bennett each ripped inside-the-park homers to tie the game. 

“They never give up,” Buckfield coach Shawn Prokey said of the Bucks. “They can put up a ton of runs in an inning and they play well as a team. We just played a very good team. Unfortunately, somebody had to lose today.

“Unfortunately, we threw the ball a little bit, and you know, before the game, I told the girls whoever does the little things best is going to win this game. We did not do that, unfortunately, but they kep their heads up and kept battling. We came back and we tied the game up.”

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