The Lady Bisons closed out a weekend of softball at the University of Tennessee with a 1-0 win Sunday afternoon in Knoxville.
Whitney Kiihnl threw a complete game with 13 strikeouts, one walk and one hit. Kiihnl walked the first batter she faced and did not allow another runner until the seventh inning when the Lady Vols put down a bunt single.
“Whitney was bringing it,” Lady Bisons coach Kristin Ryman said. “Maybe it was adrenaline, but I think she was throwing harder than last year. Molly Mitchell did a good job behind the plate working with her.
“UT played their starters the entire game. This is a team that finished third in the World Series last season. Ivy Renfroe pitched the entire game. She threw a good game against us. She kept us off balance.”
Freshman Haley Elliott slammed a solo home run over the left field fence in the fifth inning for the Lady Bisons. Ironically, Elliott and Renfroe went to the same high school, Trinity Christian Academy.
“It was great for our players to be in the atmosphere of a big game,” Ryman said. “It was a back-and-forth pitchers’ duel. It was a fun game to be a part of as both coaches and players.”
The Lady Bisons finished the tournament, which also featured Chipola and Milligan, with a 4-0 record. The Lady Bisons beat Chipola twice.
“Overall it was a really good weekend for us,” Ryman said. “We have such a young team with 11 of our 16 players either freshmen or sophomores. In one game I looked out and six of our seven freshmen were on the field at one time. We got some good play all weekend from players up and down the lineup.”
The wins don’t count on the team’s record since it is the fall season, but Ryman’s young players may have benefited from more than just winning some games.
“Some of this was a matter of confidence building that we hope carries over into the spring,” Ryman said. “It is huge for us to play a team like Tennessee that played in the World Series last season. It was good for our young team to be put into some clutch situations. Overall I am very proud of this team.”
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.