Karsten Miller and Madison Cook homered to highlight what was otherwise a rough afternoon for the Milligan College softball team as they dropped both games of the doubleheader against Mars Hill to open up their 2019 campaign Thursday afternoon. The Buffaloes dropped game one 7-0 and fell 7-5 in game two.
The Lions scored runs in the first and fourth innings to take the early 2-0 lead, but used a massive five run fifth inning to pull away from the Buffs and cruise to the win. Six straight hits opened the floodgates in the fifth and Milligan could never quite recover.
Kassi Butcher was stuck with the loss for Milligan. Kendyl McCollister tossed 1.2 innings of scoreless softball in relief.
Casey Stanek (1-0) pitched a two-hit complete came shutout with seven strikeouts.
After falling behind 1-0 in the second inning, Miller scored the first run of the season for Milligan in the top of the third when she sent the ball over the wall in center for her first home run of the year.
The Lions responded with a run in the bottom half of the inning and added another in the fourth to build a 3-1 lead. Mars Hill’s advantage held up until the top of the sixth when the Buffs put a three spot on the scoreboard to take their first lead of the game.
Cook drilled one over the left field wall scoring Erica Roller and Madison Grindstaff to give Milligan a 4-3 lead. Grindstaff reached on a walk, while Roller reached on a fielder’s choice.
The Buffs lead would not last for long though as Mars Hill answered with four runs in the bottom of the sixth highlighted by a three run homer by Jordan Harris.
Milligan added another run in the top of the seventh on a Morgan Overholser double that scored Lindsey Slagle to make the final score 7-5.
Erin Forgety threw 4.1 innings in her first collegiate start and allowed three runs while striking out six. Josie Milam (0-1) was handed the loss.
Milligan will return to action Tuesday, Feb. 19, when they travel to Harrogate, Tennessee, for a doubleheader against Lincoln Memorial University at 2 and 4 p.m. The Buffs home opener is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 23, against University of Pikeville at 1 and 3 p.m.