SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Jacksonville stymied Lipscomb’s bats Saturday as the Dolphins prevailed 7-1 in the Atlantic Sun Softball Championship at Cyrill Stadium.
The Lady Bisons were only able to squeeze out two hits in the first six innings against A-Sun Pitcher of the Year and the Tournament's Most Valuable Player Sarah Sigrest.
Shortstop Courtney Billington hit a solo home run with one out in the seventh inning over the left field fence scoring the Lady Bisons’ only run of the afternoon.
Catcher Mollie Mitchell opened the second with a single to left field and right fielder Caroline Mason had a leadoff single to center field in the fifth. Lipscomb’s only other batter to reach base was center fielder Breanna Thurman who reached on an error in the third.
Sigrest (26-5) struck out six in her complete game effort and did not issue a walk.
Whitney Kiihnl (20-11) started for the Lady Bisons but encountered troubles early. Amanda Schmidt hit her first home run of the game, a two-run shot, in the first inning.
In the third inning Karson Tuck doubled in two runs for Jacksonville giving them a 4-0 lead.
After Kiihnl issued two walks to open the fourth frame, Ali Watson was brought in to replace her. She induced three ground outs to end the inning.
In the sixth a two-out error extended Jacksonville’s time at bat. Schmidt capitalized on the Lipscomb miscue and hit a three-run blast to give the Dolphins a 7-0 advantage.
Only two runs scored by the Dolphins were earned. Lipscomb entered the tournament with the sixth best fielding percentage in the nation. They committed five errors in their last two games though.
Kiihnl gave up five hits and four runs, two earned, in three innings pitched. Watson tossed three innings allowing four hits and three runs, all unearned.
Mackenzie Tucker and Kiihnl received All-Tournament honors.
Lipscomb ends the year at 30-20. Jacksonville earns an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament with the victory. The Dolphins improve to 43-14.