Feb. 11, 2007
The Lipscomb Lady Bisons started off the 2007 season in a successful way with a sweep of the Western Carolina Catamounts.
In the first game Sunday afternoon at sunny, but chilly, Draper Diamond the Lady Bisons won 1-0 in the first game and 5-1 in the second. The Catamounts won the regular season title in the Southern Conference last season.
The Lady Bisons started six freshman and one junior college transfer in game one and six freshman in game two.
"We are young, but we have more talent than last season and the competitiveness overall has stepped it up a level," second-year Lady Bisons coach Kristin Peck said. "They know the talent is there. We expected a few jitters early in the game and there were a few, but I thought we held our composure pretty well."
Junior Kim Jacobson pitched the shutout for the Lady Bisons, striking out eight hitters and walking only two. She scattered four hits.
"Kim has worked very, very hard," Peck said. "She is somebody who continues to gain confidence every time out. We are going to look to her a lot to lead a very young pitching staff.
"She made a comment in the fall that she wasn't a strike out pitcher. In the past she hasn't been. She has depended on a lot of ground balls. But she kept Western Carolina off-balance very well."
Julia Davidson, the first person to hit a home run at Draper Diamond last season's opener, repeated her opening game feat blasting a solo shot over the left field fence in the first inning for what proved to be the game-winner.
"Julia is going to be big bat for us all year," Peck said. "She has power to all fields. She has a lot of pop in her bat. She is a veteran. Her home run was big."
The Lady Bisons managed only four hits against Western Carolina pitcher Mendy McKenzie. Hitting singles for the Lady Bisons were right fielder Leigh Little, second baseman Kristie Sirus and shortstop Abby Keese.
The Lady Bisons had runners on base in every inning but the fourth but could not get another run.
The Lady Bisons struck first in the game in the second inning. Third baseman Kellie Sirus opened with a double to center field. Grisham advanced her to third with a sacrifice bunt to the pitcher. Keese singled to bring in Sirus with the run. Pitcher Christen Campbell followed with a double to move Keese to third with one out. But catcher Niki Bails struck out and centerfield Lauren Dortwegt grounded out to end the inning.
Western Carolina tied the game in the third when Ashley Adams hit a double to bring in McKenzie.
In the fifth the Lady Bisons broke it open with two home runs, both coming after two outs. Davidson reached base on a walk setting up the home run by Collins that bounced off the outstretched glove of Western Carolina's left fielder and over the fence.
"Heather puts a lot of pressure on herself," Peck said. "She knows she is that role in the middle of the line-up where she has to produce some runs batted in. She obviously has the power. She pressed early, but she made a few adjustments late. That showed what a veteran she is."
Sirus followed with a double. Grisham homered to left center.
The Lady Bisons rapped out 10 hits with Dortwegt and Sirus each with two. Both hits by Sirus were doubles. Dortwegt and Davidson each had one double.
Savannah Filley took the loss for Western Carolina, giving up nine hits and five runs in 4 2/3 innings. McKenzie closed out the game allowing one hit in 1 1/3 innings.
Campbell picked up her first collegiate win. She gave up four hits and one run in five innings. She struck out five and did not walk a batter. Grisham closed the game for the Lady Bisons with two scoreless and hitless innings. She also struck out two.
"Christen is very good athlete," Peck said. "She understands the game. She understands how to pitch. She wasn't completely on today. Some of her pitches weren't as crisp as we have seen them and she knows that.
"Having Grisham come in was awesome. It was change of pace. We worked a lot with her this past fall on control and consistency. She came in with a lot of confidence and she was ready to go."
Western Carolina opened the season Saturday with a doubleheader loss at Tennessee State to start the season 0-4.
The Lady Bisons will play Tennessee Tech from the Ohio Valley Conference at Draper Diamond Tuesday in a doubleheader that begins at 1.