Record: 23-24 Home: 11-9 Away: 10-12 Neutral: 2-3 AAC: 15-5
Photo by: Wesley Sanders
Photo by: Wesley Sanders
Game 1
Game 2
Milligan College
Softball - Fri, Mar. 17, 2017
Final - Game 11234567RHE
Milligan (Tenn.)0000000041
Bryan College0000010110
Dayton, Tenn.,
Milligan (Tenn.)PitchingBryan College
Milligan (Tenn.)Indv. StatsBryan College
#22 Beaver, KirstanDoubles None
#13 Coffey, RachelTriples None
NoneHome Runs #25 Zimmerman, Becca
Final - Game 21234567RHE
Milligan (Tenn.)0001000121
Bryan College00112509100
Dayton, Tenn.,
Milligan (Tenn.)PitchingBryan College
Butcher, KassiLoser-
Milligan (Tenn.)Indv. StatsBryan College
NoneDoubles 2 Players (#1,#25)
NoneTriples None
NoneHome Runs None

Dayton, Tenn. – Fellow Appalachian Athletic Conference foe, Milligan College (Tenn.), had their standout pitcher, Kimberly Robinson, showcase her talents against the Bryan College Lions Softball team to begin the twinbill Friday afternoon. Robinson tossed a gem as she worked through a complete six innings, surrendering only one hit and one run while walking two and striking out five. Despite the notable performance, it couldn't stack up against a combined effort from Bryan's catcher, Becca Zimmerman (SR/Naples, Fla.), and starting pitcher, Sydney West (SO/White House, Tenn.). In the bottom of the sixth, Zimmerman crushed her team-leading third homerun of the season, which proved to be good enough as West hurled a complete seven-inning shutout. She picked up her second win of the season and ended with three walks and five strikeouts as the Lions escaped with a 1-0 win in game one. The Buffaloes had a few opportunities to score but couldn't ever capitalize. 

It looked like Milligan would be the first to strike when a single to right field and a walk got runners on in the top of the first. A sacrifice fly and a sacrifice bunt advanced Buffaloes to second and third, but the final out came via strikeout to eliminate the threat. With two outs in the top of the fourth, Milligan ripped a triple to right but they popped out to the pitcher's mound and were unable to capitalize. Another opportunity came in the top of the fifth when the Buffaloes led off with a double and then claimed scoring position at third from a sac-bunt. Bryan didn't waver as they produced solid defense that gave way to a line out and whiff at the plate to end the inning. The Lions needed only three more outs in the top of the seventh as the Buffaloes hunted the tying run. The first batter sat after West built up a full count then got them swinging. The last two were groundouts, which sealed the win for Bryan.


The Lions didn't keep the fans waiting in game two as they sparked their offense in the bottom of the third for a 1-0 lead. The Buffaloes countered in the top of the fourth to even the score 1-1, but it would be the only run Milligan could produce as freshman Courtney Petty (FR/Lebanon, Tenn.) notched her fifth win of the season from the circle, silencing the Buffaloes to two hits and one run through six innings. She only walked two and tallied five strikeouts in the contest. The Lions retook the lead in the bottom of the frame, followed with a pair of runs in the fifth, and then ended the game on a run-rule with a five-run spot in the bottom of the sixth for a 9-1 routing of the Buffaloes.


Hannah O'Shields (SO/LaFayette, Ga.) led Bryan with a 3-of-4 performance at the plate and three runs batted in. Petty not only dealt a blow from her pitching, but she was the only other Lion with a multi-hit performance, connecting on 2-of-2 with two RBIs and walked twice. Kim Borowski (SR/Apopka, Fla.) and Heidi Smith (FR/Cookeville, Tenn.) had a team-high two runs scored apiece, while Borowski also had one hit that was an RBI double. It came as no surprise that Zimmerman was the other Bryan player with an extra-base hit as she recorded an RBI double and one run scored. Olivia Gore (SR/Cookeville, Tenn.) had one hit and came across the plate for one run, and both Aubrie Osborne (FR/Chatsworth, Ga.) and Ashley Brown (JR/Pikeville, Tenn.) had one hit and one run batted in, respectively.


Bryan got on the board first in the bottom of the third frame when Petty reached on a walk, Smith hit into a fielder's choice that forced Petty out, and Borowski sent the first pitch thrown her way to deep right-center for a double that plated Smith.


The early lead was soon matched when Milligan was walked, took advantage of a passed ball, and then scored on a single for a 1-1 score after four innings of action.


Zimmerman helped set up the Lions to regain the lead in the bottom of the fourth with a leadoff double to left-center. O'Shields singled to short, which prevented Zimmerman from going anywhere. The speedy Lindsey Dunn (FR/Murray County, Ga.) took over base running duties for Zimmerman and quickly applied pressure by advancing to third on a passed ball. After two outs, Petty came through with an RBI single to left, scoring Dunn and pushing the Lions out in front 2-1.


Milligan was in trouble quick when they walked Borowski, Gore singled, and Zimmerman reached on a fielder's choice to load the bases with no outs. Kaleigh Riley (SR/Hixson, Tenn.) entered to pinch run for Gore at second, and the quickness of Borowski and Riley helped the Lions tack on two when O'Shields singled to center. The Buffaloes were desperate and made a pitching change, and the switch paid off as the two final outs were collected before Bryan drove in any more runs.


After the Buffaloes came up empty in the top of the sixth with only three batters making an appearance at the plate, the Lions kept the momentum going into the bottom of the inning. Petty set the mood with a leadoff single and then made her way to second on a passed ball. Smith avoided being the first out when she reached base on a wild throw, which allowed Petty to take scoring position at third. Smith stole second, and Borowski was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Gore stepped up and made contact, reaching first but the play at home was successful as Milligan forced Petty out at home. Smith was given a free trip home when Zimmerman remained poised and took a hit from a pitch. O'Shields put even more space between Bryan and Milligan when she singled up the middle to score Borowski and keep the bases loaded. Osborne kept the flow going for the Lions by matching O'Shields with a consecutive single up the middle to plate Gore. Zimmerman scored when Brown singled to right on a 2-2 count, before the Buffaloes walked Petty to score O'Shields and conclude the game on a run-rule with the Lions overwhelmingly taking down Milligan 9-1 to earn the sweep.


Bryan had a slow start the to year, but they've battled back to an overall record of 10-10 and 4-0 record in AAC play. Milligan dropped to 8-13 overall and 3-7 against conference opponents.


"I am really proud of our effort today," said Bryan Head Coach, Kayla Watkins. "We came out today after a week off due to weather, and were absolutely prepared to play. We pitched really well and played clean defense, allowing our hitters some time to get settled in the box and ultimately come up with some clutch hits. We took several steps forward as we moved to 4-0 in the conference. I'm really proud of our girls."


The Lions will stay at home as they play host to the No. 8 team in the country, Lindsey Wilson College (Ky.) on Monday, Mar. 20, with game one of the doubleheader slated to start at 2pm. Bryan met up with the Blue Raiders at the beginning of the season during the NAIA Southeastern Challenge and were edged out 3-1 in a close decision.


For a complete look at the Bryan Softball schedule, click here.


Follow Bryan Softball on twitter @BC_softball14.