KENNESAW, Ga. – Sweeping a softball doubleheader on the road is enough of a feat, but to put together back-to-back shutouts is a feat of almost epic proportions.
Such was the case Saturday afternoon as the Lipscomb Lady Bisons beat Kennesaw State 2-0 and 5-0 at Bailey Park. The Lady Bisons are 26-4, 8-2 in the A-Sun. Kennesaw State slipped to 15-14, 5-3 in the conference.
The series finale is scheduled for Sunday at noon. Weather conditions may be an issue according to Atlanta area weather reports.
“It is big to get a win on the road in the A-Sun, but to get two shutouts is even bigger,” Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman said. “Hopefully, the confidence will carry into Sunday.
“We want a sweep. We don’t won’t to settle for two out of three on the road. We know Kennesaw State is going to come back hungry. We have to approach it in an attack mode.”
Fielding, sometimes a concern for Ryman, was flawless.
“When our defense plays like it did we don’t need our pitchers to get a lot of strikeouts,” Ryman said. “I thought our defense did a really nice job.
“The whole day we were moving our feet on ground balls. We took care of the ball. We didn’t give them any freebies. It gives our pitchers confidence.”
In game two right-hander Heather Parker had a perfect game until she gave up a hit to pinch-hitter Missy Perkowski with two outs in the sixth. She also allowed a single in the seventh. She struck out three.
“Heather’s last two outings have been really, really good,” Ryman said. “She threw a two-hitter against Jacksonville in a five-inning game. She hadn’t thrown since last weekend. She did a nice job of hitting her spots and making them hit her pitches.
“She is starting to get into her rhythm. For Heather it has been a matter of confidence in getting some good innings under her belt. I thought she had an outstanding game. You can’t say enough about what she did. She is going to be a key for us down the stretch.”
Left-hander Ashley Anderson extended her unbeaten streak to 11-0. She is two short of tying her all-time mark for wins in a season. She recorded one strikeout tying her career season high of 59. Anderson scattered five hits and walked two.
“Ashley did a really nice job of getting ahead and working the counts,” Ryman said. “She made good pitches and she got outs.”
Several players contributed at the plate.
In game one Haley Elliott bounced a shot off of the top of the right center field wall for a home run. Brittany Elmore accounted for the other run driving in Brianne Welch with a triple to center.
Elmore stole two bases in the third inning in game one and scored three times in the nightcap. She was a combined three-for-seven at the plate.
“When Brittany finds ways to get on base it makes us that much stronger,” Ryman said. “Brittany is so much more confident at the plate right now. She is seeing the ball well. She is making good adjustments.
“When she is confident at the plate she is as good as any lead-off hitter. She is placing the ball better, but she is driving the ball and placing it in the gaps.”
Mimi Cartwright led the way in game two tying the game high for hits with three. She drove in one run.
“Mimi is in the sixth hole for a reason,” Ryman said. “It is because she does a nice job. When she is hitting through the ball she can line it gap-to-gap really well.”
Paige Neely, Kelsey Cartwright and Rena’ Cothron each connected for two hits. Neely and Kelsey Cartwright each drove in one run.
“We looked stronger offensively later in both games,” Ryman said. “That is a good sign. That means we are making adjustments.”