|March 09, 2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||R||H||E|
|Win: KIIHNL (11-3)||7.0||5||2||1||0||11|
|Loss: Schmidt (0-0)||2.0||6||4||4||1||0|
|Vande Wall (DU)||3||1||1||0||0||0|
The Lipscomb Lady Bison are flexing their muscles at the plate.
Friday afternoon they hit three home runs in a 5-2 win over Drake in the first day of the Lady Bison Classic at Draper Diamond. Kristen Sturdivant, Haley Elliott and Caroline Mason each hit a ball over the fence.
“I think we knew the home run power and potential was there, but we have really had some good at bats and are hitting through the ball well,” Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman said. “That is always a huge emphasis with us from day one in the fall.
“All the way through, especially the middle part of our order, everyone has the potential to either hit it out or hit something deep in the gap and score some runs.”
Ryman wouldn’t mind her team having a reputation as a long ball threat.
“Teams have to be careful,” Ryman said. “They have to be smart with how they pitch. It just means we have to continue to be smart and attack good pitches.”
In the second inning Sturdivant hit a line drive shot that cleared the fence. She also brought Mollie Mitchell, who had reached base on a double to right center, home to spark a three-run inning. Bridgette Begle scored the third run on a wild pitch.
“Kristen’s was a laser,” Ryman said. “It didn’t get up in the air but right off the bat I felt like it was gone because of how hard it was hit.”
In the third Mason homered to right center to lead off the inning. Elliott opened the sixth with a solo shot to right center. Elliott had the only hit off of Drake pitcher Jordan Gronewold who threw the final four innings.
“I would have settled for a single from Haley,” Ryman said. “But it was nice to have an extra run going into that last inning.”
Drake made it interesting in the seventh with two runs. With one out Hayley Nybo was hit by a pitch. Lindsey Vande Wall singled to right center. Sarah Ryan, pinch-running for Nybo advanced to third. Gronewold singled down the left field line to score Ryan.
Buck singled to left field to move Vande Wall to third and Gronewold to second. Bree Thurman was unable to field a ball to center that allowed Vande Wall to score.
Kiihnl would work her way out of trouble, getting pinch-hitter Nicole Randel to fly out to left and Macie Silliman to strike out swinging to end the game..
Ryman was not happy with the way the Lady Bison played late in the game.
“I don't know if we felt like we had won already,” Ryman said. “I think it is a comfort level with the way the game had gone. We were rolling along and all of a sudden a team makes a threat in the seventh inning.
“It is almost like we were caught off guard. We have to constantly be ready. I was a little frustrated with the end of the game. We had six great innings and we didn’t finish. That is something we have been talking about and working on for the last couple of weeks. That little difference could make such a big difference in our team.”
Whitney Kiihnl ran her record to 11-3. In seven innings she struck out 11 and scattered five hits. She hit Nybo but did not walk a batter.
Rebekah Schmidt started on the mound for Drake. Schmidt gave up six hits and four runs in two innings. Gronewold allowed one hit and one run while striking out three.
The Lady Bison are 12-6 heading into Saturday’s 12:15 game with Eastern Michigan. The Lady Bison also remain undefeated at home this season with a 5-0 record.
Sunday afternoon the Lady Bison will play Alabama State at 1:15 and MTSU at 3:30.
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.