LipscombSports.com
Lady Bisons shut out NKU in doubleheader
Northern Kentucky (4-39)
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Lipscomb (37-11)
4/26/2014 | Nashville, Tenn. | Attendance: 174
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Win: ANDERSON (19-4) 5.000005
Loss: ENRIQUE (3-11) 3.168331
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Saturday, April 26, 2014
by Mark McGee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The regular season is winding down but the Lipscomb softball team is still adding a number of firsts to its season.

Saturday it swept Northern Kentucky 10-0 and 6-0 in an Atlantic Sun doubleheader at Draper Diamond at Smith Stadium.

The Lady Bisons, 38-11 overall, 17-8 in the A-Sun, will be out for a series sweep Sunday at 1 p.m. The Norse fell to 4-40, 1-21 with the losses.

The game will also be “Senior Day” with seven players to be honored before the start of the game.

In game one left-hander Ashley Anderson, 19-4, threw her first no-hitter of her collegiate career. She struck out five and did not walk a batter. The game was called after five innings due to the run-rule. She faced only 17 batters with two reaching base on errors.

“Ashley has had some good things going all year,” Lady Bisons coach Kristin Ryman said. “She was two batters away from a perfect game. She threw really, really well. That is good for her and good for us knowing it may be her last innings before the A-Sun Tournament.”

Also in game one shortstop Bridgette Begle slammed her first home run of the season. She made the most of it as she blasted a grand slam over the left center field fence in the seven-run fourth inning. It was the first grand slam of her career.

The big evening for Begle continued in game two. She was credited with two of the five hits for the Lady Bisons in the game. She also drove in a run.

“Bridgette has really been working hard on her swing,” Ryman said. “She has been frustrated a lot this year offensively. She came up with bases loaded in the third inning. She had good contact and flew out to right.

“Sometimes it is easy to get frustrated and depressed in those situations. She looked very calm at the plate. She was attacking good pitches. She wasn’t chasing pitches out of the zone. She did a lot of really good things to help herself…things I think she has been working on.”

Ryman added that it was great to see Begle respond when she came to the plate in the fourth with the bases loaded again.

“I think getting that big hit kind of relieved a little pressure that maybe she had been feeling,” Ryman said. “She turns around in game two and has another great game.”

Pitcher Heather Parker entered game one in the fourth inning to fill in at first base for Kristen Sturdivant. Parker started at first in game two. This was her third game in a row to see action at first, but in game one she connected for her first hit of the season. She added another one in game two. She was flawless in the field with a combined nine putouts and one assist.

 “She played at first a little last year,” Ryman said. “She practiced a lot there in the fall. But this spring it had been awhile since she had practiced there until earlier this week. She picked it back up pretty quickly.”

Ryman wanted Sturdivant to rest as much as she can this weekend in order to be at top form in the tournament.

“We are comfortable with Heather over there both offensively and defensively,” Ryman said. “She had pretty good at bats in both games.

“Heather is not going to provide the same type of power we have with Kristen. But if Heather can provide quality at bats and move runners we will get something good out of her in the lineup.”

Brittany Elmore drove in two runs with a single to left field in the fourth inning of game two.  Elmore finished with a combined three steals.

Brianne Welch put the Lady Bisons on the scoreboard first in the third inning of the second game with an RBI-double. She added a second run in the inning when she stole home.

Tanner Sanders, 11-4, scattered five hits and struck out six. She did not walk a batter in the complete game win in the nightcap.

“I thought Tanner did a really nice job,” Ryman said. “She was in the zone early. She wasn’t working from behind a lot.

“Throwing the full seven was good to see. She did a nice job of going at hitters and using her defense.”

Approximately 15 minutes before the start of Sunday’s game Lipscomb will honor Anderson, Begle, Parker, Sturdivant, Haley Elliott, Kelsey Cartwright and Rena’ Cothron.

“We think it will be a fun, exciting day,” Ryman said. “But I am sure it will be a little bit emotional.

“Those seven have been on a long journey together. Two of them (Kelsey Cartwright and Parker) transferred in, but the other five have been here for the long haul. They are an extremely close group. They are seven good ones.”