Tigers bats go cold in two-game sweep by Milton

MILTON -- Archer's bats were as cold as the weather and Milton got just enough offense along with strong pitching from Hannah Weldy to knock off the Tigers 1-0 and 2-0 in the second round of the Class AAAAA state softball tournament.

Weldy picked up a pair of complete-game victories by going the entire 14 innings and completely shutting down the Archer offense.

Game 1 was a battle of pitchers as Archer's Nani Cabrales and Weldy shut the door on both offenses. But a leadoff homer by catcher Katie Steinhaus on the first pitch she saw from Cabrales in the bottom of the seventh sent Milton to a 1-0 victory in the opener.

Cabrales took a no-hitter into the fifth when Milton finally broke through on a single by Amanda Marshall. Cabrales also worked out of trouble in the fourth when Milton left a pair of runners on and failed to score.

However, the Archer offense couldn't come through to take the lead Archer had just three hits, but walked five times and simply couldn't come up with the clutch hit as the Tigers stranded nine base runners in the game -- six of those in scoring position.

Archer's best scoring opportunity came in the fifth when the Tigers had second and third with one out, but two groundouts back to the pitcher killed the rally. Andria Booth went 2-for-3 from the ninth spot in the order with a pair of singles and was stranded twice at third base. Leadoff batter Kristen Hawkins also reached three times, including a pair of walks.

Despite the loss, Cabrales pitched well and allowed just two hits and only six base runners overall while striking out six.

Game 2 was no better for the Archer bats as the Tigers managed just two hits and one walk.

Milton scratched across two runs in the top of the second and that would be enough to send the Eagles into the state quarterfinals next week. Erin Bragg delivered the first RBI single to score Korrine Raby, who had walked to lead off the inning.

Jema Bravo also came through with an RBI single to plate Amanda Marshall, who had also walked.

Archer's best scoring chance came in the bottom of the fifth.

Nicole Roberts singled to open the inning, but she was cut down stealing for the first out. And as luck would have it, Katie Etheridge followed with a triple down the line in left.

Booth came to the plate and hit a grounder that Milton shortstop Chelsea Canara fielded and threw home to nail Etheridge as Booth reached first on the fielder's choice.

That would put an end to the last Archer rally as Weldy retired the final seven Tigers she faced, including three-up, three-down sixth and seventh innings.

Cabrales allowed just five hits and struck out eight in Game 2, but also walked five. Archer's season ends at 24-13 and another trip to the second round of the state tournament in the third year of the program.