Saturday, March 16, 2013
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Lipscomb Lady Bisons flexed their power and Tanner Sanders showed her durability as a pitcher in a doubleheader split with Kennesaw State.
The Lady Bisons lost game one 6-3, but came back strong in the nightcap for a 4-3 win. A single to left center by Brittany Elmore drove in the winning run in game two.
For the day Elmore, batting in the leadoff spot, connected for four hits and stole three bases. She has a team-leading nine multi-hit games and has hits in her last six games.
“Brittany Elmore had a good day at the top,” LU coach Kristin Ryman said. “She gets us going. She can change a game really quickly with her speed and her ability to put the ball in play.
“We are excited she is clicking right now. She is the catalyst that makes us go.”
Gracey Aguirre had a double and a home run and two runs batted in. Haley Elliott added a home run, a double and one RBI. With Kelsey Cartwright still sidelined due to an injury, Ryman has been counting more on others in the middle of the batting order.
“Gracey is in a zone right now,” Ryman said. “She can hit the ball as well as anybody. She is swinging the bat really well. She is getting through the ball. We are seeing what she is capable of doing.
“We need to get some big hits from people in the lineup other than the people who everybody thinks should get big hits. It takes the pressure off of Paige Neely, Haley Elliott, Kristen Sturdivant and Mickey Bell. It allows them to relax if we are getting contributions throughout the lineup.”
The Lady Bisons controlled game two until the seventh when Kennesaw State scored a pair of runs to tie the game at 3-3. That set the stage for the last inning rally for the Purple and Gold.
Tanner Sanders pitched 11 innings. In game one she allowed four hits in four innings. She gave up three runs, two earned. She walked three and struck out six.
Ryman chose to send Sanders back to the mound for game two. In seven innings she was struck for 10 hits and three earned runs. She struck out three and walked three, raising her record to 7-3.
“Tanner has worked and worked,” Ryman said. “She has that endurance about her. She gets better and better each time she throws.”
“For a freshman she really kept her composure well. That is good to see. Early in the season we didn’t always see that. For the past few games we have seen her have the ability to work out of jams and finish some really tight games.”
Abby Mixon went the distance for Kennesaw State. She gave up eight hits, four earned runs, walked one and struck out four.
In game one the Lady Bisons jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning. But Kennesaw State answered with a run in the second, two in the fourth, one in the fifth and two more in the sixth.
The Lady Bisons added one run in the fifth when Bree Thurman hit her first home run of the season over the wall in left center. They added one more run in the sixth on a pair of doubles by Elliott and Aguirre, both to left field.
Heather Parker threw the first three innings for the Lady Bisons in game one. She gave up three runs, all earned. She scattered four hits, struck out three and walked one. Parker, 3-7, was credited with the loss.
Kennesaw State’s Amanda Henderson remained undefeated with her 11th win. She went the route giving up eight hits and three earned runs. She struck out 14 and walked one.
The series with Kennesaw State concludes Sunday at 2 at Draper Diamond. The Lady Bisons are 11-12, 2-3 in the A-Sun. Kennesaw State is 19-4, 3-1 in the conference.