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Kiihnl strikes out 14 in 2-0 win over Butler
Whitney Kiihnl
Whitney Kiihnl

Friday, March 04, 2011

It was hard to tell which was more blustery, the wind whipping across Draper Diamond or Lipscomb Lady Bisons’ coach Kristin Ryman during the postgame talk with her team.

The Lady Bisons won 2-0 Friday afternoon over Butler in the opening game of the Lady Bison Classic. Ryman knows she should be happy with the win, but she was struggling with the fact that her Lady Bisons only had two hits in the game.

“This team has to play to its own level of capability,” Ryman said. “This is a team that is still trying to find its identification.”

Catcher Mollie Mitchell drove in both runs. Her first RBI was on a bases loaded walk in the third inning. The other was on a double to center field in the fifth.

Mitchell leads the team with 12 RBI and also leads in multiple RBI games with four.

Third baseman Rena’ Cothron also had a double for the Lady Bisons.

“Rena’ adjusted and battled late in the game,” Ryman said. “I think some of the hitting situation is a confidence issue.

“Some of our players have lost a little bit of confidence in their hitting. And I think a lot of that confidence is built in practice.”

Weather is still a concern for the tournament Saturday. At 2:15 p.m. Butler will face Eastern Illinois followed by Lipscomb against both Appalachian State at 2:30 and Eastern Illinois at 4:45.

Lady Bisons’ pitcher Whitney Kiihnl, 6-4, struck out 14 Butler hitters. She was working on her second no-hitter of the season until Lauren McNulty hit a line drive single over the shortstop and into left field to lead off the seventh.

“Whitney is very capable,” Ryman said. “She struck out 14, but we didn’t see her best all-around performance.”

Ryman has been stressing the need for consistent work in practice that will translate into how the team performs in game situations.

“We want to try to improve every time we go out on the field,” Ryman said. “We are challenging our girls to find out what motivates them. They cannot motivate other players until they know how to motivate themselves.

“It all starts with practice and preparation. We get more out of practice some days than we do others. We can’t be wishy, washy. We have to be more consistent.”

The Lady Bisons are 6-8. Butler slipped to 1-4.

Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.