Waddle leads Milligan to first win of season

from staff reports

   MILLIGAN COLLEGE -- Getting two hits and a solid pitching performance from Brandy Waddle, the Milligan women's softball team defeated Tusculum 7-3 in the opening game of a college doubleheader on Thursday afternoon.
   Breaking out of a season-long hitting slump, the Lady Pioneers (1-7) erupted for 10 hits in the first four innings of game two, winning 6-1.
   Milligan (1-2) jumped on starter Laura Williams early in game one, getting three runs on four hits in the first inning. Carissa Ellis and Shelby Banion led off with two line-drive singles, then Brooke Davis loaded the bases after being hit by a pitch.
   After a fielder's choice got the first out, Waddle helped her own cause with a two-run single. Senior Lori Baimbridge got the third run home on a groundout to short.
   The Pioneers managed just one hit off Waddle through five innings and were down 7-0 before Kelly Nugent and freshman Tiffany Massengill (Jonesborough) got on via bunt singles. Williams doubled home Massengill and freshman Mandy Kurtz also scored on the play. Sophomore Jamie Johnson homered in the seventh inning for the Pioneers' final run, her first round-tripper of the season.
   Waddle allowed five hits and three earned runs for her first win of the season. Banion had a pair of hits while Rebecca Dawson batted 1-for-1.
   The second contest saw Tusculum get on the board in the second inning when Nugent scored Johnson on an infield single. Freshman Jennifer Fuller also scored on the play on a throwing error. The Pioneers added to their lead in the third on an RBI double from sophomore Judith St. Clair and an RBI single from Johnson.
   TC added two more runs on three hits in the fourth. After Nugent reached on an error, Kurtz got her third hit of the game, putting runners on first and second with one out. Williams doubled home Nugent, then St. Clair singled home Williams. After their hit barrage, Tusculum went hitless the final three innings.
   Johnson pitched six strong innings, giving up just one hit (a home run), before Milligan pieced together two hits in the seventh. She and St. Clair each banged out two hits.
   Rachel Peters launched a solo homer for the Buffs.
   Tusculum hosts UNC Pembroke on Saturday at 1 p.m. Milligan entertains Emory & Henry on Feb. 26 at 2 p.m.