Milligan senior Kassi Butcher limited one of the top teams in the NAIA to three hits over six innings on the way to picking up the win as the Milligan College softball team split a doubleheader with Brenau University Saturday on senior day at Anglin Field. Milligan lost game one, 4-0, but bounced back and came from behind to win game two, 2-1.
The win marked Milligan’s ninth in the last 12 games and improved the Buffaloes to 18-16 (16-10 Appalachian Athletic Conference). Kirstan Beaver tied the game in the fourth with a sacrifice fly. Allison Davidson provided the go-ahead RBI with a two-out, pinch-hit single in the fifth, finishing a rally that started with two out and the bases clear.
Both games were close the whole way and featured Brenau (29-8, 17-7 AAC), which is receiving votes in the latest NAIA top-25 poll, going out to an early lead. In game one, Milligan starter Erin Forgety allowed a solo home run to lead the game off before the Golden Tigers added two runs in the second and one more in the seventh. In game two, Brenau pounced on the board again with a pair of singles bookending a sacrifice bunt to go ahead 1-0.
For Butcher and the Buffs in game two, it proved to be all the runs they would allow. Butcher went on to retire 15 straight spanning the end of the first through the beginning of the sixth. Her winning line included six innings, three hits, one earned run, no walks and two punchouts. Butcher moved to 9-6 with the win.
Josie Milam picked up the save, her first, on five pitches in the seventh despite allowing a hit and the tying run to reach second.
Milligan had plenty of opportunities to score in game one but did not cash any of them in, resulting in only their third blanking in conference play this season. The Buffs had runners on second and third with one out in the first and fourth but failed to capitalize. Then in the sixth, they had runners on first and second with two out but again went scoreless.
Morgan Overholser led Milligan in game one with a 2-for-3 effort. Neelee Griffith went 2-for-3 in game two. Erica Roller stole three bases on the day, including two in the same inning which helped her score on Davidson’s eventual game-winning hit.
Up next, Milligan plays two more nonconference doubleheaders this season. First up will be Lees-McRae College next Thursday, followed by Tusculum University Monday, April 22. Both series will be played on the road.