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Saturday, April 18, 2009Kristin Peck had to wait a long time to get her birthday present from her players.
Abby Keese slammed a three-run homer over the left field fence to give the Lady Bisons a 10-7 in the bottom of the eighth inning against Kennesaw State in the nightcap of an Atlantic Sun doubleheader. The win Saturday evening was the 100th of Peck’s career and gave her an extra highlight for her 28th birthday.
“It was a great way to end the game,” said Peck. “Abby’s confidence has really been shooting up in the last couple of weeks. We need that from her.”
In game one the Lady Bisons lost 3-1 to Kennesaw State in eight innings.
“We’ve got to understand that this is a long season,” said Peck. “Kennesaw State came out and played well.
“Defensively, I wasn’t very proud of the way we played. We are typically a strong defensive team. We got a little bit shaken at times. There were a lot of ugly plays.”
The Lady Bisons have needed extra innings to decide three of their last four games. Until this weekend they had not played an extra inning game since beating North Carolina A&T 6-2 March 7.
In game two Keese led with a game-high four hits and five runs batted in, both a season and career high for her. She is tied with Courtney Billington for the team high for RBI in a game Billington drove in five runs at Western Carolina March 24.
Keese also leads the Lady Bisons in home runs with eight and RBI with 41.
Game two was a struggle for the Lady Bisons. After scoring two runs in the first inning on a double by Keese to center field and a single through the right side of the field by Mollie Mitchell the Lady Bisons allowed Kennesaw State to score six runs in the second inning.
The Lady Bisons added a run in the second and another in the third.
In the fifth Mitchell and Caroline Mason each doubled. Mitchell scored when Vanessa Medina flied out to center.
Kennesaw State added another run in the sixth for a 7-5 lead.
In the home part of the sixth the Lady Bisons tied the game with two runs. Billington led off with a double to center. Kellie Sirus followed with a double to left center, scoring Billington. Keese singled to right field to drive Sirus across the plate.
In the eighth Billington started things off with a single through the left side. Sirus was safe on an error by the second baseman setting the stage for the game-winning home run by Keese.
Five different Lady Bisons had doubles in the second game, also a season game high.
The Lady Bisons 17 hits tied the season high set at Western Carolina March 24.
“We knew we were going to keep getting pitches to hit,” said Peck. “People that were getting out early in the game were hitting the ball pretty solid, but they were hitting the ball right at people.
“We didn’t hit terrible in game one, but I think our approach was better in game two. We were more aggressive in game two.”
Christen Campbell remained unbeaten at 10-0. She gave up eight hits. Only four of the runs she allowed were earned. She walked one and struck out seven.
In game one the Lady Bisons took an early lead with one run in the second inning when Campbell stole home.
Kennesaw State tied the game with one run in the seventh. They won the game with two runs in the eighth.
Lady Bisons pitcher Whitney Kiihnl, 14-7, allowed nine hits and three runs, all earned. She walked three and struck out eight.
“Expectations are a little bit higher for Whitney,” said Peck. “Maybe that is a little unfair but I don’t think it is. We feel like she is that special. She will learn from this.
“We would have preferred the sweep, but the fact that we got down in game one and kept fighting. Our bats finally came alive.”
The Lady Bisons are 32-11 overall, 10-4 in the A-Sun. Kennesaw State is 19-25, 5-11 in the A-Sun.