BOCA RATON, Fla. _ Lipscomb's Lady Bisons softball team will have to fight its way out of the loser's bracket in the double-elimination Atlantic Sun Softball Championships after falling 3-1 to UCF.
The Lady Bisons are the No. 3 seed in the tournament, while UCF is No. 4. All games are being played on the campus of Florida Atlantic University.
A pitching duel was expected for this first-round game. The Lady Bisons started Daniellle Catalano, their No. 1 pitcher, against UCF's ace Lindsay Enders, a member of the A-Sun All-Conference team.
Lipscomb scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the third inning. Kate Richards led off with a walk and moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Leigh Little. Julia Davidson walked before Jessica Wilson singled to bring home Richards. The Lady Bisons' run was the first in their NCAA-era postseason tournament history.
Catalano started off strong, forcing the first two UCF batters she faced to strike out. She recorded four strikeouts in the first three innings, finishing with five for the game.
Crystle Krafft, the No. 7 hitter for UCF, led off the fifth inning with a solo home run to left center, her 10th homer of the year. Catalano remained composed and retired the next three batters to end the inning.
In the sixth, Catalano forced Cici Alvarez to fly out to start the inning. Byrttani Lindheim followed with a single and Stephanie Best, the player of the year in the A-Sun, walked. Amber Lamb flied out to Julia Davidson at shortstop. But with two outs Enders helped herself in a big way by slamming a double to left center that scored Lindheim and Best.
With the Lady Bisons trailing 3-1, Sara Meek came in to pitch the top of the seventh. She retired the side in order.
The Lady Bisons had one last chance in the seventh, but weren't able to put a runner on base.
Catalano allowed six hits and walked two in six innings. All three runs were earned.
Enders gave up only two hits, one to Wilson in the third for the RBI, and a double to left by Alysha Forsythe in the fourth. Enders struck out five and walked five.