LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. (May 17, 2016) – The Milligan College softball team’s first trip to the NAIA Opening Round of the national championship came to an end on Tuesday at the Grizzly Softball Complex. The fourth-seeded Buffaloes allowed four runs in the first two innings, and never recovered as they fell 8-1 to third-seeded and nationally recognized Brenau University on day two in the Georgia Gwinnett Bracket.
Milligan, who was receiving votes in the latest national poll, ended its season 28-20 overall and 12-8 in the Appalachian Athletic Conference, while Brenau, who was also receiving votes in the top-25 poll, moved on with a current record of 30-23.
The Golden Tigers scored four runs on eight hits through the first two innings, the first seven hits coming off of Milligan starter and freshman Kassi Butcher (7-7), while the Buffs were held to only two walks and no hits through three innings. Milligan, however, did put runners on base in each of the first four innings, beginning with seniors Jessica Wheelock and Caroline Testerman, who both walked and advanced into scoring position in the first and second innings, respectively, but would go no further. Additionally, Wheelock got on base in each of her first two at bats as she reached on an error in the third.
Milligan’s first hit of the game came on a leadoff triple down the right field line by Natalie Sheffey in the bottom of the fourth. Sheffey then came home one batter latter on a sacrifice fly to center by Kacie Skeen to get the Buffs on the board.
After being no hit in its first game of the opening round against No. 5 Saint Xavier University on Monday, both of Milligan’s hits on Tuesday came off the bat of Sheffey, a senior who singled with two out in the bottom of the sixth. Testerman would become the third Milligan senior to reach base twice in the game as she did so with two out in the seventh on the second Golden Tigers’ error.