Softball - Thu, Apr. 28, 2011
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KINGSPORT, Tenn. -- The Union College softball team was eliminated in the 2011 Appalachian Athletic Conference Softball Tournament tonight, dropping two of three games on the day.

The Lady Bulldogs lost their first game to Montreat, staved off elimination in a 3-1 win over Virginia Intermont, and were eliminated by Milligan in the nightcap by a 10-1 score (in five innings).

With the results, Union ends their season with a 23-28 overall mark.

Montreat 6, Union 1

In the day's first game against second-seed Montreat, Union got off to a quick start, but saw an early lead evaporate, as Lady Cavalier starter Rachel Stowe confused the Lady Bulldog lineup from there on out to take the five run win.

In the first, the Lady Bulldogs were quick to strike, as lead off batters Whitley Cochran and Hillary Leftrick hit singles.A batter later, Falon Catalano hit an RBI single up the middle, scoring Cochran from third and giving Union the early 1-0 lead after a half inning.

That lead, however, was short lived, as Montreat rallied with two outs in the bottom half of the inning, capped off by a Kristine Valdez three-run homer to take give the Lady Cavaliers a 3-1 lead after one. Montreat added two more runs in the bottom of the second on another homer (a two-run shot) with two outs, then added their sixth and final run in the bottom of the third on a Valdez RBI double.

This was more than enough run support for Stowe to work with, as she tossed a complete game win, giving up six hits and striking out four (while walking none). Union starter Katie Perkins (7-11) was the loser in the game, giving up six runs (all earned) on four hits. Catalano led the Lady Bulldogs at the dish in the loss, going 3-for-3 with an RBI.

Union 3, Virginia Intermont 1

In their first elimination game of the day, Catalano got the start and dominated the VIC lineup, striking out 15 batters to lead Union to the win, staving off elimination in the process.

Union got off to a quick start in the game, as Abby Sears roped an RBI single down the left field line in the bottom of the first, scoring Cochran. VI, however, knotted the contest back up at one in the top of the third on a Rachel Cook solo home run.

In the bottom half of that inning, the Lady Bulldogs scored the what turned out to be decisive runs to take a two run lead. Sears cracked another RBI single, scoring Alyson Roberts, while Ashley Tatman notched the other RBI on a fielders choice (Leftrick scored on the play).

It was all Catalano needed, as she dominated the Lady Cobra lineup throughout. She did get into some trouble, however, in the seventh, so freshman Randi Jo Powers was called in out of the bullpen to close the game out, which she did to give Union the win. The save was the first of the year for Powers.

In the circle, Catalano (10-5) was dazzling, giving up just three hits, while walking four in six and one thirds. The 15 strikeout total was just one short of tying a school record Catalano set earlier in the season. At the dish, Sears was 2-for-3 with two RBI to lead the way.

Milligan 10, Union 1 (5 Innings)

Milligan jumped out to a huge lead in the last tournament game of the day, and never looked back, eliminating the Lady Bulldogs in a nine-run romp in five innings.

After a scoreless first, Milligan exploded for five runs in the top of the second off of Union starter Powers to take a 5-0 lead. It didn't get much better over the third and fourth innings, as the Lady Buffaloes continued to hit, scoring three runs in the third and two runs in the fourth to take a 10-0 lead.

Union finally cracked the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth when Catalano hit a solo homer, but the defecit was far too great to the Lady Bulldogs to come back from, as Milligan ended UC's season with their win.

Overall, Powers (4-5) took the loss, going just one and one third giving up five runs (all earned) on seven hits. Tatman led Union at the dish in the loss, going 2-for-2.