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UC Takes Wild Game One in AAC DH Split at Milligan

MILLIGAN COLLEGE, Tenn. -- The Union College softball team split an Appalachian Athletic Conference doubleheader at Milligan on Thursday, taking game one in a slugfest, 13-8, while losing game two, 4-0.

With the split, UC moved to 20-7 overall, 6-4 in the AAC, while Milligan went to 21-13, 8-2 in the AAC with the results.

Game One

In game one, Union bashed out 15 hits, and held off a late Milligan rally to notch a five-run game one win.

The Lady Bulldogs did their damage in the tops of the second and third innings, scoring five runs in each frame to take a big 10-0 lead after two and a half.

In the second, Union got their first two runs on the board via a Milligan error, then Ashley Wojnowski (Pigeon Forge, Tenn.) added the first RBI in the inning on a fielder's choice. A batter later, Gina Loflin (Salisbury, N.C.) smacked a two-RBI double down the left field line, giving the Lady Bulldogs a 5-0 lead after an inning and a half.

In the third, Wojnowski had the big hit, hitting a three-RBI single to center, making the score 8-0. Leighana Brett (Seiverville, Tenn.) then knocked home Wojnowski on an RBI single, and Loflin finished the inning off with another RBI double, scoring Brett, and making the score 10-0 after three.

Milligan, however, roared back in the fourth and fifth inning, scoring four runs in each frame off of UC starter Abby Sears to cut the UC lead down to 10-8 after five.

But, in the top of the seventh, the Lady Bulldogs finally put Milligan away with a three-run frame to go up five. Loflin had another RBI in the inning on a sacrifice fly, while Sears and Aryssa Puckett (Knoxville, Tenn.) each had an RBI single. In the bottom half of the inning, reliever Rachel Cogdill (Knoxville, Tenn.), who came in the fifth, retired Milligan in order to clinch the win for UC.

At the plate in game one, Puckett had the team’s best day, going 4-for-5 with an RBI. Puckett’s four hit day was the first for a Lady Bulldog since 2008.

Meanwhile, Wojnowski and Loflin each had four-RBI games, with Brooklyn Hesterberg (Morehead, Ky.) going 2-for-4 with three runs scored. Brett and Sears rounded out the top offensive performances in game one, with Brett going 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored, and Sears going 2-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored.

In the circle, Sears (9-3) took the win, despite giving up eight runs in four innings of work. Cogdill earned the save, her first of the year, after tossing three innings of shutout relief, giving up just two hits in the process. She also struck out three in her time in the game.

Game Two

Things calmed down in the second game, as Milligan jumped out to a big lead, and coasted the rest of the way to salvage the split.

In the bottom of the first, Milligan scored four runs off of UC starter Katie Perkins (Owensboro, KY.), which was more than enough for MC starter Chancli Connaster. Connaster rolled through the UC lineup in the second game, giving up just three hits, and striking out seven to notch the complete game, shutout victory.

For Union, Perkins (6-4) was the loser in the pitching circle, despite calming down after the first inning, giving up just one hit over the next three innings.

The Lady Bulldogs are back in action on Saturday when they host Bryan (Tenn.) at Union Field in an AAC doubleheader. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.

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