Tuesday, February 26, 2013
KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- A team can only get better by playing the best competition possible.
The Lipscomb Lady Bisons faced a major challenge Tuesday night when they headed east to face the No. 7-ranked Tennessee Lady Vols.
After four shutout innings the Lady Vols struck for two runs in the fifth with help from three LU errors. They added four more in the sixth to seal a 6-0 win at Lee Stadium. The Lady Bisons evened their record at 7-7. The Lady Vols are 14-2.
“It was a really good game for four innings,” Lady Bisons coach Kristin Ryman said. “Then we had a rough inning defensively.
“UT is a good team. They hit the ball well. They keep pressure on your defense. But, quite frankly, we didn’t execute. Against a team like Tennessee every little mistake matters and gets magnified that much more.”
Heather Parker started for LU and pitched five innings. She gave up eight hits and six runs, four earned. She walked three and struck out one. Parker evened her record at 3-3.
Tanner Sanders came into the game in relief in the sixth. She struck out one batter and did not allow a hit or run.
The Lady Bisons threatened in the seventh inning when Kelsey Cartwright slammed a double to deep center field. In the fourth Cartwright singled to center to account for two of the Lady Bisons three hits.
It was the fifth multiple-hit game for Cartwright this season. She has a four-game hitting streak and has reached base in each of the last six games.
Haley Elliott led off the second inning with a single through the right side.
“Overall, I thought we put the ball in play pretty well,” Ryman said. “We had some good at bats. There were a few at bats where Tennessee made really great defensive plays.
“I’m not completely disappointed. The biggest thing I want the players to take away from this is having a mentality of not wanting to keep a game close, but really and truly believing we can win a game like this. We are stressing the importance of executing defensively and giving our pitchers a chance. We don’t want to create more pressure for them.”
The Lady Bisons play their first game on their home field Wednesday at 2 p.m. when Wright State from the Horizon League visits Draper Diamond. Wright State, 1-8, has lost its last three games.
“We are going to get rested and come back out Wednesday,” Ryman said. “I think they will be pretty excited that it is the first home game. Mentally it is easier to get ready for a single game.”
This weekend the Lady Bisons play host to the Purple and Gold Challenge. They play Texas-El Paso at 4:15 p.m. Friday. The Lady Bisons play two games on Saturday facing IPFW at 3:30 and Texas-El Paso at 5:45. Sunday they close out the challenge with a 2:15 meeting with Tennessee Tech.