By Gene Renfro
MILLIGAN COLLEGE — Milligan College celebrated senior day for the softball program Saturday and the Lady Buffs were able to shutout Appalachian Athletic Conference foe Columbia 4-0 and 3-0.
With the victories, Milligan owns a 25-17 mark overall and a 12-4 record in the league. The Lady Buffs moved into second place in the AAC standings behind No. 22 Reinhardt (Ga.) University. Milligan welcomes Reinhardt to Anglin Field for a Tuesday doubleheader to end conference play.
“It was two big wins and that helps us to stay competitive (in the AAC standings),” Milligan head coach Wes Holly said. “I’m proud of them it was a good team effort today.”
In game one Milligan’s Chancli Connatser was perfect for the first 3 2/3 innings before Chessie Miller’s double to left center. She ended up facing just two over the minimum after two Columbia hits. Connatser struck out 11 without giving out a walk. To close out the day Connatser tossed the first five innings of game two where she faced the miniumn and did not allow a hit. She did give out a walk in the third, but was caught stealing later on. Connatser added six strikeouts.
“I was real proud of Chancli today, she threw really well,” Holly said. “I think she will be in the running for AAC Pitcher of the Year. It’s going to be a battle to the end.”
Connatser helped keep the Fighting Koalas off base and ended innings. In the two contests Columbia was 1-for-16 with two outs and never got a lead-off batter on base.
Sarah Arrowood hit a double off the fence in left center in the first inning of the opening game to push in teammates Emily Biggs and Camille Olvey. Abby Hughes then placed a single into shallow right in which Arrowood scored as the score ballooned to 3-0.
Olvey finished the opening game 3-for-3.
The Lady Buffs tacked on another run in the third thanks to a pair of throwing errors on the same play. Biggs was the scorer on the play after her single started the one-out rally. She was 2-for-3 and scored twice in the first contest.
Brittany Barr tossed the first five innings and was tagged for game one’s loss. She allowed eight hits that led to four runs.
Miller had the other Fighting Koalas hit in the final inning of game one.
Olvey struck quickly in game two with a RBI double to deep center in the first inning. Biggs raced in from first after her lead-off single to left. Arrowood then added a RBI single to left to make the score 2-0. Arrowood was 2-for-3 in the game.
Krista Lambdin lined a solo home run out down the line in left to start Milligan’s half of the fifth. It was the seventh home run of 2012 for Lambdin.
Columbia’s Deanna Jones had the lone hit for the visitors in the second game and that came in the sixth inning.
Brooke Ingle tossed the last two innings and picked up her first save of the season. Kelsey Simmons was 2-for-3 from the No. 9 spot in the Lady Buffs’ order.
“We did OK hitting today, but we should have had more clutch hits and put runs on the board,” Holly added.
For the day Milligan was 6-for-16 with two outs and 8-for-21 with runners on base.
The Lady Buffs travel to play at the University of the Cumberlands (Ky.) today with game one beginning at 1 p.m.