Buffs lose close game to begin NAIA Opening Round

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. (May 15, 2017) – Kimberly Robinson threw another postseason gem, but a two-out, bloop single in the third inning proved to be the difference as the Milligan College softball team lost to No. 5 Georgia Gwinnett College 1-0 in the opening game of the NAIA Softball National Championship Opening Round on Monday.

Robinson went the distance for the seventh time this season, striking out eight and allowing only four hits and no walks over six innings. She faced only four over the minimum and allowed only five base runners, but it all came in a losing effort as Georgia Gwinnett’s Chelsi Palazzo also went the distance in a no-hit effort. Palazzo struck out seven and walked one across seven innings.

The difference in the game came in the bottom of the third. After GGC’s Mary Burk reached on a hit batter to lead off the inning, Georgia Gwinnett bunted Burk to second, then brought her home following back-to-back singles. RaeQuinn Rossetti had the game-winning hit on a soft blooper down the left field line on a 3-1 count with two out. Robinson allowed only one more base runner the rest of the game.

Kirstan Beaver, the Appalachian Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year, was Milligan’s lone base runner of the day, reaching on a one-out walk in the seventh after being down to her final strike three times.

Milligan will next play on Tuesday, May 16, versus either Warner University or Williams Baptist University in an elimination game. A win in that game would put the Buffs into a second game on Tuesday. They will need to win the next four games in order to move on to the NAIA Softball World Series, scheduled for May 26 – June 1 in Clermont, Florida.

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