BREVARD, N.C. – Facing a 4-1 deficit entering the seventh inning of the first game of the doubleheader, Brevard put three runs across the plate, but the rally fell short when a run in the eighth allowed Milligan to escape with a 5-4 win. The Buffs used that momentum to their advantage in the second game to complete the sweep with a 9-2 victory.
The game one rally began when Brittan Miller lifted a one-out double into right field that moved Brittany Franks to third base early in the seventh. Emily White reached base on a throwing error, scoring both Miller and Franks on the play, trimming the Milligan lead to 4-3.
Two batters later Paige Atkison kept the inning alive with a single to center, advancing White to second. Jordan Hawk drew a walk to load the bases and Teegan Bullock laid down a bunt single to score White from third, knotting the game at four-all.
Milligan answered in the top of the eighth when Rachel Coffey joined Kaylee Frascatore on the basepads with a walk. A double steal put both runners in scoring position ahead of a single to centerfield by Erica Roller, plating Coffey for the game-winning run.
Milligan was led by Roller, who finished 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI, along with Neelee Griffith (1-4, two RBI, run) who blasted a two-run homer.
Kassi Butcher (5-5) earned the victory after tossing 1.1 innings, allowing one hit and one walk, while striking out one batter. Breanna Allen (2-5) suffered the loss for the Tornados as she logged eight innings, scattered five hits, and surrendered five runs (three earned runs) while making six strikeouts.
Milligan put two runs across in the first inning when a Cayley Shoemaker walk was quickly followed by Griffith's two-run home run over the center field wall.
The Buffs tacked on two more runs in the fourth when both Coffey and Roller reached base to start the inning. A throwing error at third base allowed Kirstan Beaver to reach first and Coffey to motor home from second. Jaclyn Jenkins stretched the lead to 4-0 on a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Roller from third.
Kuhn manufactured the first run of the game for the Tornados in the sixth with a leadoff double into left center. The senior slugger reached third on a wild pitch before a sacrifice fly to centerfield by Sara Lalier allowed Kuhn to score from third.
GAME 2: MILLIGAN 9, BREVARD 2
Milligan also grabbed the early 1-0 lead in game two when Erica Roller belted a triple to left to leadoff the game. Madison Grindstaff followed with sacrifice bunt back to the pitcher to give the Buffs (12-10) the early advantage.
Brevard (5-12) bounced back in the home half of the first with a single to left by Sara Lallier and a bases clearing triple to right centerfield by Brittan Miller. With the game knotted at one-all and Miller at third, Kuhn came through with a sacrifice fly to centerfield to give the Tornados their first lead of the game.
Two walks and a single to right field by Kirstan Beaver allowed the Buffs to load the bases with one out in the second. Morgan Overholser delivered a bases clearing double down the left field line to score three runs and forge Milligan in front 4-2. Two batters later, Madison Grindstaff followed suit with a double down the left field line to plate Linn for the 5-2 advantage.
Milligan tacked on two more runs in the sixth with a two-run home run to centerfield by Kaylee Frascatore, making for a 7-2 contest. The final two runs of the game came in the seventh, again by virtue of the Buffs' power game, as Karstan Miller drove a two-run home run over the left field wall.
The Brevard lineup was led in the game by Sara Lalier (2-3, run) and Brittan Miller (2-3, RBI, run). Meanwhile, four Milligan hitters had multiple RBI, including Grindstaff (1-2, 2 RBI, run), Karsten Miller (1-2, 2 RBI, run), Frascatore (1-2, 2 RBI, 2 run) and Linn (1-2, 3 RBI, run).
Ricki Kuhn (3-8) struggled to find her rhythm on the mound for the Tornados, allowing nine earned runs and four walks over seven innings. Her counterpart, Josie Milam (1-0), scattered six hits and allowed two earned runs in six innings on the mound.