Friday morning they started the day at the Eagle Classic at Statesboro, Ga., with an 8-0 win over Oakland. It was the second shutout in five games for the Lady Bisons. They finished the day with a 5-4 win in the bottom of the seventh against Binghamton.
“It was definitely a good start for the tournament,” Lady Bisons coach Kristin Ryman said.
Saturday morning at 11 the Lady Bisons, 4-1, will face tournament host Georgia Southern. In the afternoon they will start championship bracket play. Ryman is uncertain which pitchers she will use.
The Lady Bisons pounded out a combined 19 hits with nine in the win over Oakland and 10 against Binghamton.
Second baseman Abby Keese and first baseman Kellie Sirus each had three hits for the day. Keese slammed a home run and two doubles. Sirus hit her second home run of the season and also added a double and a single.
Center fielder Lauren Dortwegt hit the first home run of her college career in the Oakland game. Shortstop Courtney Billington had two doubles. Catcher Mollie Mitchell connected for one double to round out the extra base hits.
“I am definitely pleased with how we swung the bats,” Ryman said. “Our lineup as a whole, one through nine, is really starting to come alive. That’s good to see, especially early in the season.
“Kellie and Abby both hit the ball well. Lauren’s home run was a big boost for her. She expects so much from herself and is probably her hardest critic. She can drop a bunt down or hit a home run. We were all so excited for her. Courtney also hit the ball well.”
The biggest hit of the day may have been a single by third baseman Christen Campbell in the seventh inning of the Binghamton game. With the score tied 4-4 Campbell came to the plate with two outs and Billington on second base. Campbell singled to right field, advancing Billington to third. Billington scored when the right fielder made an error on the play.
“Binghamton is an athletic and scrappy team,” Ryman said. “They came out and found ways to get runners on base and make things happen. It was good for us to be challenged that way.”
Pitcher Whitney Kiihnl picked up both wins. She threw a complete game shutout against Oakland, allowing only two hits and striking out 10. She walked three. The game was called after five innings due to the Lady Bisons lead.
Alaina Jacobson started the game with Binghamton and scattered three hits while allowing one run in five innings. She struck out four and walked one. Christy Grisham started the sixth inning for the Lady Bisons in relief of Jacobson. She gave up one hit, a three-run homer.
Kiihnl relieved Grisham and closed out the game. In two innings she did not give up a hit, walk or a run while striking out five.
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations