Lee thwarts Lady Buffs

By Chad Booth

   A slight breeze was enough to blow out the Lady Buffaloes' fire Saturday as they fell to Lee University 2-0 and 5-0 in consecutive games.
   Milligan suffered all day at the plate, mounting only four hits in two games against the Lee pitching staff.
   "We didn't hit the ball well today. That was a big disappointment today because we took hitting practice yesterday...so I felt like we should have hit the ball today," said Wes Holly, Milligan head coach.
   The first of the two games was close as both teams held one another scoreless through the first four innings. However, Lee ended its drought in the fifth with a home run from Jessica Greene to lead off the inning.
   Fannie Harr followed that up with a single to shallow right field.
   Connie Stobert came to the plate next and caused some confusion when she tried to take first base after her third strike got past the Milligan catcher. Harr advanced to second but Stobert was sent to the dugout since the passed-ball rule is only in effect when first base is unoccupied.
   Brandy Waddle was able to strike out the Lady Flames' Tiffany Miller for the second out of the inning.
   With two outs and Harr in scoring position, Melissa Stander drove a triple just out of reach of the Milligan right fielder to open the lead to two runs.
   In the bottom of the seventh, Milligan tried to spark a comeback but their hopes were dashed as Brooke Davis came up short trying to take home on a single by Shelby Banion.
   "We played great defense," said Holly. "We turned two double plays but when we didn't score any runs they got complacent."
   The loss dropped Waddle's record to 11-6 overall.
   The Lady Flames' offense was lead by Greene and Stander, who each had one extra-base hit and an RBI. Milligan was led by Carissa Ellis and Brooke Davis, who had the only two hits of the game for the Buffs.
   Milligan was unable to restart their fire for the second game. The Lady Buffs quickly found themselves behind in the second inning following a double by Lee's Jessica Pike, scoring Heidi Hamilton from second base.
   "If you don't win the first game, sometimes it is hard to regroup and get ready for the second game," said Holly.
   Milligan threatened to claim the lead from Lee in the fourth when two walks and a hit batsman loaded the bases with two outs. Jessica Pike, pitcher for the Flames, was able to strike out Danielle Gilley for the final out and escape the inning without allowing a run.
   Lee picked up another run in the fifth when a single by Hollie Howard drove in Katie Rominger.
   The Flames' bats ignited in the sixth. Heidi Hamilton singled to left field, then Pike doubled on a long drive to left field that sent Ellis crashing into the fence after the ball and scored Hamilton.
   From there, Lauren Gavulic bunted for a base hit. Rominger singled to centerfield, scoring Pike and Gavulic and increasing the lead to five runs.
   Milligan went away quietly in the final two innings as Lee went on to sweep them of both games. The loss dropped pitcher Ashley Fine's record to 7-7 overall.
   Lee's offense was led by the Hamilton sisters, Heidi and Holly, who each had three hits in the second game. Milligan was once again lead by Davis and Ellis who had one hit each. Davis and Ellis had two hits each for the day and accounted for all of Milligan's hits.
   Milligan plays a double header at Montreat on Tuesday. The Buffs hosts Montreat Friday for their final two games to end conference play. Friday will be Senior Day for the Buffs and will be their last home game of the season.
   Milligan is currently in a battle with UVA-Wise for first place in the conference heading into the conference tournament.
   "We're 15-4 and they were 9-2," said Holly. "They have 12 games left and they have to get them all in this week."