KINGSPORT — As soon as Milligan solved Virginia Intermont’s starter, the Lady Cobras turned to its reliever.
The Lady Buffs had no answer for Rachel Watts.
Watts gave up one hit over four relief innings and the Lady Cobras took advantage of Milligan miscues in a 3-2 win over the top-seed in AAC softball tournament winner’s bracket play Wednesday afternoon at Domtar Park.
Milligan will need two wins double-elimination tournament today to remain in the championship hunt, starting with Bryan College this afternoon at 1 p.m.
“We just didn’t hit the ball as well today,” said Milligan coach Wes Holly. “We were stranding base runners and I don’t know if they were overconfident or what, but you’ve got to come out day in and day out and hit the ball and put some runs on the board.”
Watts struck out three with the one hit allowed to pick up the win from the circle. Teammate Bailey Dockett gave up three of Milligan’s four hits and each of the runs in the third inning to prompt the change.
Milligan starter Chancli Connaster took the loss, giving up three runs on eight hits with three hit batters.
The Lady Cobras jumped on the board in the third inning with a balk call advancing two runners into scoring position. Consecutive errors at third base allowed for the runs to cross and make it a 2-0 game.
“Our defense didn’t play as well today,” Holly said. “We made entirely too many errors. Give V.I. credit, they came to play today, but we basically beat ourselves not executing.”
Milligan responded with a double from Camille Olvey and a fly ball to left from Brittany DiRobbio that was dropped in the field. Krista Lambdin followed with an RBI single, then Emily Biggs added a run-scoring double to tie the game at the end of three.
Once V.I. made the move to Watts, Milligan’s backs were against the wall.
The Lady Cobras, however, took advantage of two hit batters in the fifth with an RBI single from Katelyn Mitchell for the eventual winning run.
Offensively, Virginia Intermont was led by a three-hit day from Krystle Brennaman and two hits from Megan Perry-Shifflett.
— — —
Intermont 002 010 0 — 3 8 1
Milligan 002 000 0 — 2 4 3
Packett, Watts (4) and Palmer. Connaster and Arrowood.
2B: V.I. (Perry-Shifflett), Milligan (Olvey, Biggs).