Lady Buff bats stay cool in losses to TC

By Wes Holtsclaw

   The Milligan College Lady Buffaloes knew they were in for a battle, or two.
   Plagued by solid defense from the Tusculum Lady Pioneers, Milligan fell short hitting the ball on Tuesday as they fell 3-1 and 2-1 during a home doubleheader on Tuesday afternoon.
   Milligan only had three hits in the first contest, as Laura Williams controlled the pace of the contest from the mound for Tusculum with a win over Brandy Waddle, who pitched both contests for Milligan.
   The Lady Buffaloes used a late burst in the second seven-inning stretch, but a tough seven-strikeout performance from Tusculum's Canadian import, freshman Sue Bobbitt, was tough to tame.
   The Lady Pioneers got going early with an RBI double from Judith St. Clair, scoring Laura Menchaca after an infield error.
   The opening contest was solely defensive through the fourth inning when St. Clair grabbed another single. Mitzi Foust followed her up before Megan Sturgill dealt an RBI'd play to the Lady Buffaloes.
   A fielder's choice to Carah Beals gave Tusculum a 3-0 lead, while Williams controlled a no-hitter through four innings of play.
   Milligan got things going offensively in the fifth inning after Waddle was hit by a pitch.
   Andrea Henriott secured the Lady Buffs' first hit of the outing, setting up an RBI single from Ellen Stoots to close the game at a two-run margin.
   Tusculum held Milligan off after Danielle Gilley singled and reached third base in the sixth inning. A crucial 4-3 double play prevented the Lady Buffaloes from going any further as the Lady Pioneers took them three and out in the final frame.
   Both Milligan and Tusculum made saves defensively throughout the second contest.
   Tusculum opened up with singles from Jessica Turner and Menchaca in the first inning, but two strikeouts prevented the Lady Pioneers from scoring.
   Milligan got its first hit in the second inning with an Alyson Bowman single, but its scoring was halted when Henriott was thrown out at the plate.
   Neither team did anything offensively until the fifth inning when Menchaca doubled for Tusculum. Stoots singled for Milligan but the contest remained in check on all accounts.
   Tusculum got the first runs of the contest in the sixth inning after Williams was hit by a pitch and Jessica Taylor singled.
   An RBI courtesy of an errored at bat from Melissa Lundwall and a Turner fielder's choice RBI gave Tusculum the 2-0 lead with the game in the hands of their defense.
   Milligan battled back loading the basses behind a Shelby Banion single, and errored play to Henriott and a walk to Waddle. Milligan just couldn't get anything going on the scoreboard.
   Tusculum got singles from Menchaca and St. Clair to battle around the bases in the seventh inning. Milligan wouldn't allow them another opportunity to touch home plate, with three straight outs.
   The Lady Buffs had two outs early in the seventh before Sarah Steele singled. They were back in the ballgame after Carissa Ellis stepped up with a towering RBI double, but a tip to Bobbitt ended the game at 2-0.
   Tusculum added two more victories to their record (16-10), having won 13 of their last 14 games.
   It was an solid showing for Milligan, who play their next home conference series against Bluefield on March 28.