Kiihnl, a sophomore, struck out 13 of the 15 batters she faced Friday afternoon in the first round of the Frost Classic in Chattanooga, Tenn. The game was called after five innings due to Lipscomb’s lead.
“It is pretty difficult to pitch a perfect game in softball,” Lady Bisons coach Kristin Ryman said. “The thing in softball is you can put a ball in play and find a way to get on base with speed. There is always a chance for errors. There is always the chance for a passed ball or wild pitch on the third strike.”
Kiihnl 6-0 has three shutouts this season.
“One of the things we have been working on with Whitney is trying to keep her walks down,” Ryman said. “I think over the last couple of games she has done a much better job of that.
“In the past she would have a one-or-two-hitter and still have several walks sprinkled in there. Not only was this a no-hitter, but she didn’t put anybody on base. It didn’t go seven innings, but it was a great performance.”
The Lady Bisons pounded out 15 hits in the game with senior first baseman Kellie Sirus leading the way with three hits, including a solo home run.
“Our bats were strong again,” Ryman said. “We just exploded against Austin Peay."
Also hitting a home run was sophomore shortstop Courtney Billington who hit a solo shot right before Sirus in the third inning. Billington also added a double that drove in three runs in the fourth inning. Billington drove in a game-high four runs.
Senior third baseman Christen Campbell, senior center fielder Lauren Dortwegt and Kiihnl also had two hits.
Sophomore catcher Mollie Mitchell pounded out a triple. Sophomore outfielder Caroline Mason and junior outfielder Mackenzie Tucker also had doubles.
The Lady Bisons beat Oakland 10-4 in the first game of the day.
Freshman Ali Watson pitched the final four innings. She allowed two hits and shut down Oakland for her first collegiate win, a 10-4 decision. Senior Alaina Jacobson started the Lady Bisons but gave up five hits and four runs, all earned, in three innings.
It was the third time this season the Lady Bisons have beaten Oakland. It was the first time in those three games that Oakland had scored on the Lady Bisons.
Dortwegt led the Lady Bisons with three hits. She also scored three runs.
Billington had two hits, including a double, while driving in two runs. Mitchell had a pair of hits and led the Lady Bisons with three runs batted in.
Sirus slammed a triple as the Lady Bisons finished with nine hits.
“We started out a little slow in the Oakland game,” Ryman said. “We came on stronger as that game went on.”
The Lady Bisons, 9-1, face Kentucky Saturday at 11:30 a.m. and Kansas at 4:30 p.m. They close out the tournament Sunday against Georgetown.
“Kentucky is going to threaten everybody in the Southeastern Conference this year,” Ryman said. “They are an up-and-coming team in the SEC. We are excited about playing them. They are well-coached. They play the way you are supposed to play. “Kansas is a big name. And to get a win over a big name program would help us tremendously.”
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations