BARBOURVILLE, Ky. --
The Union College softball team split an Appalachian Athletic Conference doubleheader with Milligan on Thursday afternoon at Union Field. The Lady Bulldogs captured game one 1-0 in thrilling fashion, then had a a late comeback bid fall short in a 5-4 loss in game two.
With the results, Union is now 16-17 on the year, 1-3 in the AAC, while Milligan is now 20-13, 3-1 in the AAC.
In game one, the starting pitchers were the stars, as Union's Falon Catalano
and Milligan's Sidney Burns dominated the opposing lineups throughout.
Through the first six innings, Catalano was masterful, allowing just a hit, which came in the fourth inning, while striking out six. Meanwhile, Burns was just as impressive, as she extinguished Union scoring chances in the third and fourth innings, where the Lady Bulldogs had runners in scoring position, but failed to capitalized.
In the sixth, Catalano finally broke the scoreless tie with a swing of the bat. With two outs, the senior homered over the left field fence to give Union the one run lead. The home run was the second of the season for Catalano.
Milligan, however, did not go down quietly in the seventh, as they had runners on second and third with one out after a double. Catalano, however, buckled down, and struck out consecutive batters to end the ball game and give the Lady Bulldogs their first AAC win of the year.
Overall, Catalano (6-3) was the impressive complete game, shutout winner for Union, giving up just two hits and two walks, while striking out eight. Catalano also led the Lady Bulldogs at the plate in the win, going 2-for-3 with the solo homer and RBI.
In game two, Union dug themselves into a four run deficit, and fell just short of completing an improbable comeback in the final two innings of play.
Milligan was quick to strike in the second game, scoring two runs (on no hits) in the top of the first inning off of Union starter Katie Perkins
. The Buffaloes added two more runs in the top of the third (off of Perkins), and scored another run in the top of the sixth to take what looked to be a decisive 5-0 lead, as Union struggled offensively off of Milligan starter Chancil Connaster.
In the bottom half of that inning, however, Union began to make a comeback. Alyson Roberts
started the inning off with an infield single, then after Whitley Cochran
reached on an error, Hillary Leftrick
singled up the middle, loading the bases up. Milligan then made a pitching change, bringing in game one starter Burns. One of the first pitches thrown by Burns got past her catcher and enabled Roberts to score from third to make the score 5-1.
With runners on second and third with one out, Catalano laced a 2 RBI double down the left field line, scoring Leftrick and Cochran to make it 5-3. After Catalano advanced to third on a groundout, Ashley Tatman
then hit a two out, RBI single to left scoring Catalano to cut the Buffalo deficit down to one entering the seventh.
In the top of the seventh, Milligan went down in order to set up the stage for the Lady Bulldogs to either tie the game or win it in the bottom half. Things got off to a great start in the inning, as Alissa Hampton
hit an leadoff double to left center. She, however, was left stranded on third base, as Burns stomped out the Lady Bulldog comeback bid after retiring three straight Union batters to preserve the win for the Buffaloes.
Overall in game two, Tatman was 2-for-3 with an RBI, while Catalano added to her RBI total with two RBI on a 1-for-4 game at the plate. In the pitching circle, Perkins (5-7) was the loser, only lasting three innings giving up four runs (two earned), on four hits. Freshman Randie Jo Powers
, however, kept the Lady Bulldogs in the game after throwing four solid innings in relief, giving up just a run on two hits, while striking out two.
Union returns to action tomorrow when they travel to Tennessee Wesleyan for another AAC doubleheader. First pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m.