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Brenau edges Milligan for AAC softball title

From staff reports • Apr 28, 2019 at 1:22 AM

KINGSPORT — Brenau edged Milligan 6-5 to capture the championship of the Appalachian Athletic Conference softball tournament, which concluded Saturday at Brickyard Park.

Fourth-seeded Brenau (34-10) earned its first AAC tournament championship and the automatic berth to the NAIA national tournament. Sixth-seeded Milligan (22-18), which dropped its tournament opener, advanced to the final by winning four consecutive games in a 48-hour period. The Buffs beat Point 6-0 to reach the final.

Needing two wins over Brenau to claim the title, Milligan built a 4-1 lead in the second inning thanks to Kirstan Beaver’s two-run triple and Neelee Griffith’s two-run homer. However, three errors in the bottom half of the frame opened the door to five runs by the Golden Tigers.

The margin held until the fifth when Savannah Nocera doubled in a run to pull Milligan within 6-5, but Brenau held on to take the title.

Brenau’s Faith Grooms, the tournament MVP, went 1-for-3 with two runs scored and a stolen base in the championship game. For the tournament, she batted .500 (6-of-12) with six stolen bases, seven runs scored and one RBI.

Joining Grooms on the all-tournament team were Shelton Kendrix, Autumn Conaway, Alyssa Maisonet and Jessica Rathje of Brenau; Nocera, Beaver, Griffith and Erin Forgety of Milligan; Sarah Kate Jenkins, Emily Draper and Madison Gianfala of Reinhard; and Lacy Striblin of Point.

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