Lady Buffs subdue Virginia Intermont

By Travis Brown

STAR Staff
tbrown@starhq.com

   Friday afternoon the Virginia Intermont Lady Cobras came calling on the Milligan Lady Buffaloes for a double dip of softball action. The day would belong to the Buffs as they garnered a pair of conference wins in convincing fashion.
   Milligan captured the opener 8-0, and followed that up with an 6-2 victory.
   The story for the Buffs was pitching as sophomore Brandi Waddle turned in a stellar performance in both games, surrendering only one hit in the first contest.
   She gave up only two runs and seven hits over the 12 innings of work.
   Milligan skipper Wes Holly was pleased with the pitching performance.
   "I think she did a tremendous job. Overall she stayed really focused," Holly said. "We wanted to get a lot of work out of her today, so she can rest over spring break."
   The strong pitching left little need for the Buff offense to show up, but Milligan managed to score with consistency.
   In game number one, the Buffs took control from the opening pitch and refused to relinquish the advantage. Milligan grabbed the lead when Carissa Ellis got on base and was driven around on a single by Erin Bowers.
   Leading 1-0 in the bottom of the third inning, Milligan would plate two more runs. Andrea Henriott and Brooke Davis singled, and with the bases loaded Alyson Bowman stroked a double to center, scoring the pair to extend the lead to 3-0.
   While Milligan continued to build a lead, the Lady Cobras could barely manage a baserunner against the cruising Waddle. Their only offensive highlight came in the first on a single by Kelly Sayler.
   Milligan would end the contest in the bottom of the fourth, scoring five runs on four hits to shut out the Cobras.
   In the second game the Lady Buffs looked to be quite in control, but the Cobras mustered a charge to hold a lead in the early going.
   VI took the early lead on a pair of unearned runs in the top half of the second inning. Amy Widener and Valerie David reached base and scored on a botched fly ball.
   VI pitcher Aneesha Sheffield would retire the Lady Buffs in order during the home half of the second, as the Lady Cobras appeared to gain momentum.
   Milligan drew even, though, in the home half of the third, as Shelby Banion and Ellis came around to score on a single to right center by Henriott. Tied at two, the Lady Buffs would soon see the offense come alive in the fifth.
   A single to right by Rebecca Dawson brought home a pair of runs, Milligan would score three in the stanza and another in the fifth to extend the lead to four heading down the stretch.
   Waddle then responded by retiring six of the last seven that she faced to silence the threat and preserve the 6-2 win.
   After the contest Holly complimented his squad on the wins.
   "Our hitting is improving," he said. "We're not blistering the ball, but we are putting runs on the board."
   With solid opposition inside the conference, Holly looks to eliminate the mental errors in order to continue the Buffs' winning ways.
   "Sometimes we get a little overaggressive and lose focus," Holly said. "We must stay mentally focused in order to win."
   The Lady Buffs will rest up over the spring holiday, but will be back in action next Sunday against NCAA Division 2 opponent Lees-McRae. Festivities start at 1 p.m.