KINGSPORT, Tenn. - Fifth-seeded Union College remains alive in the 2009 Appalachian Athletic Conference Tournament as the Lady Bulldogs eliminated No. 9 Bluefield (Va.) College 9-6 and top-seeded Milligan (Tenn.) College 8-1 Wednesday.
The Milligan victory propelled Union into an 11 a.m. contest Thursday against seventh-seeded King (Tenn.) College at 11 a.m. King lost 3-2 against UVa-Wise to end Wednesday's slate of games.
Union improved to 24-24 with the wins. Milligan's season ends at 27-15 while Bluefield was 4-22 in 2009.
A flurry of unanswered runs against Milligan and a lot of strikeouts helped against Bluefield.
The Lady Bulldogs' eight runs against Milligan were all came after Milligan scored in the opening inning. A five-run sixth inning extended Union's lead and the Lady Bulldogs added an insurance run in the seventh.
In the sixth inning, Union jumped on the AAC Pitcher of the Year Sidney Burns. The Lady Bulldogs sent a total of nine batters to the plate and recorded six hits. During the inning Bethany Outland (Hopkinsville, Ky.) drove in a pair of runs.
Union answered Milligan's first-inning run when Suzannah Behnken (Tempe, Ariz.) provided a RBI single in the top of the second. Ashley Tatman (Lexington, Ky.) led the inning off with a single and scored on Behnken's hit.
A Milligan error helped Union take the lead in the fourth. With two outs, Behnken and Sherry DeVault (Baltimore, Ohio) started things with back-to-back singles. Mallory Lavoy (Temperance, Mich.) followed and reached on a throwing error by Jessica Fix and Behnken scored.
Milligan struck first when Jessica Fix scored on a Leah White groundout in the opening inning.
Behnken finished 3-for-3 with two runs scored and a RBI. Outland, Tatman, Lee Davis (Lexington, Ky.) and Alice Blauser (Hopkinsville, Ky.) all added two-hit efforts. Blauser drove in two and both of Davis' hits were doubles.
In all the Union bats struck for 14 hits in the contest.
Driver went all seven innings on the mound to improve to 11-13. She allowed the one earned run while scattering seven hits. Driver only struck out two Lady Buffaloes.
Burns lasted six innings and was credited with seven runs allowed, six earned, on 13 hits. She also mixed in three strikeouts. Fix and Jessica Blevins had two hits apiece.
Both teams left 10 runners on base.
DeVault improved to 2-0 this season behind 11 strikeouts against Bluefield. She issued six runs over the seven innings on six hits. DeVault walked three to go along with the 11 strikeouts.
A two-out double by Driver put Union ahead 4-3 in the top half of the sixth inning. Before Driver's double, Lavoy singled which allowed pinch-runner Missy Campbell (Baltimore, Ohio) to score Union's second run of the game.
Lavoy drove in the Lady Bulldogs' first run thanks to a second-inning single. Behnken scored from second after her lead-off double.
DeVault helped herself thanks to a two-run double to left in the seventh frame. It was a part of Union's five-run outburst in which 10 batters went to the plate.
Three of Bluefield's runs came in the first inning after Felicia Marmo homered over the left field fence. Before her home run, Courtney Upham and Alyssa Weddle were issued walks.
Another three-run spurt for Bluefield came in the bottom of the seventh, but Union held on for the victory to advance.
Lavoy, Driver, DeVault, Behnken and Tatman all had two hits apiece. Driver ended the game with four RBIs. Both of Driver's hits were doubles and Lavoy walked twice.
Six different Bluefield players recorded a hit.
Lady Bulldog Notes
The last time Union scored nine or more runs was on April 1, when the Lady Bulldogs posted 13 against Bluefield.
The double-digit strikeout total was the 10th such performance of the season for Union.
Outland extended her hitting streak to a season-high five games and she recorded her 15th multi-hit game of 2009.
Driver was a RBI away from tying the Union single-game record in the Bluefield contest.
In the last two postseasons, Union owns a 2-2 record against Milligan.
Union stretched a winning streak over Bluefield to 11 games, dating back to the 2005 AAC Tournament.