It has been a busy last few weeks for Milligan College athletics, and the spring season is fast approaching its end. In fact, a couple of track & field meets and one final trip to Gulf Shores for the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships will wrap up the NAIA slate for the Buffaloes’ 2018-19 academic year.
Softball finishes season on high note, earns handful of awards
The season is over, but the Lady Buffaloes ended it with a fantastic run in the Appalachian Athletic Conference tournament. After losing the first game of the tourney, the Buffs won four times facing elimination before finally seeing their season end in the championship game. It marked the third time in the last four seasons Milligan softball finished as the AAC tournament runner-up.
“The team finished the season very well, winning nine of the last 12 games,” head coach Wes Holly said. “After losing the first game in the AAC tournament, we won the next four games for a runner-up finish. I was very proud of our perseverance.”
Holly finished the 2019 season with 898 career coaching victories.
Earning awards for the season were Erin Forgety, Savannah Nocera, Neelee Griffith and Kirstan Beaver, who made the all-tournament team. Kayla Baker, Beaver, Allison Davidson, Madison Grindstaff, Amber Holliman, Kelsey Linn, Josie Milam, Nocera and Tori Tipton made the AAC’s all-academic team.
Holliman earned a spot on the AAC Champions of Character team. Forgety won pitcher of the week for the week of the AAC tournament.
Baseball ends season on day two of AAC tournament
Counter to Milligan softball’s postseason run, Milligan’s baseball season came to an immediate halt in the AAC tournament this week. In the double-elimination tournament, the Buffs lost each of their first two games, falling 10-4 to No. 16 Bryan College and 14-6 to Truett McConnell University.
Juan Vasquez hit a three-run homer and went 3-for-5 as one of four Buffs with multiple hits in the first game. Blake Dutton went 3-for-5 to lead the Buffs in the second game.
Track & field looking for more national marks, reps heading to national championships
All that is left on Milligan’s NAIA schedule is track & field, and the Buffaloes have three more events.
First up will be a trip to Knoxville for the Tennessee Relays this weekend, followed by a trip to Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, North Carolina, next weekend. These two meets will serve as the final tune-ups for the national championships, scheduled for May 23-25 in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
“We’ll take a select group to Tennessee this weekend and then Lenoir Rhyne the next weekend,” head coach Chris Layne said. “I really think we can see a few more national marks and then these meets will give others a chance to take an additional step.”
So far, the Buffaloes are sending eight men and three women to the national championships. Liz Maller highlights the women’s squad as a two-time qualifier in the hammer throw and shot put.
Rasheem Brown, the indoor national champion in the 60-meter hurdles, headlines the men’s squad as the NAIA leader in the 110 hurdles. Brown also is coming off a world No. 4 finish for U-20’s at the CARIFTA Games earlier this semester.
Additionally, the Buffaloes have Tim Thacker (1,500 meters), Nathan Baker (5k), Gabrielle Mardis (3k steeplechase) and six marathoners (Stephanie Coffey, Cory Aulich, Eli Baldy, Tyler Bates, Andrew Burton and Hunter Lewis) qualified for the national championship event.