Ironically, the last time the Lady Bisons scored 20 runs in a game was 20-0 win over Savannah State Feb. 25, 2007 in the Eagle Classic in Statesboro.
“We really exploded,” Lady Bisons coach Kristin Ryman said. “We took advantage of some balls over the plate. We were really seeing the ball well. We told them to swing the bat and get their money’s worth.
“The girls were very focused. They were very hungry at the plate. They took good, aggressive hacks. We had a lot of hard hit balls in the Oakland game that went for errors. We had a lot of good quality at bats. If we are having good quality at bats the hits will take care of themselves.”
The Lady Bisons, 4-0 in the tournament and 6-1 for the season, move into the championship game Sunday at noon.
It was the third shutout of the tournament for the Lady Bisons who also blanked Oakland 8-0 Friday. It is the fourth shutout of the season for the Lady Bisons. Only one of the Lady Bisons games in the tournament has gone the full seven innings. The rest were called early due to the Lady Bisons leads.
Sophomore pitcher Whitney Kiihnl threw a one-hitter in the game with Georgia Southern, striking out nine and walking one in six innings. She has thrown 13 innings of scoreless softball in the tournament.
Senior second baseman Abby Keese was the big hitter in the first game with three hits, including a home run.
“Abby crushed the ball to right center,” Ryman said.
Georgia Southern’s starting pitcher, Brianna Streetmon, was the Southern Conference Pitcher of the Year last season.
“Georgia Southern legitimately competes for the Southern Conference championship every year,’ Ryman said. “For us to do what we did in game one was very impressive to me. We just took that momentum and rolled with it in the second game.”
Senior Christen Campbell was on the mound for the first three innings of the Oakland game. She allowed one hit and struck out five. Freshman Ali Watson made her first collegiate appearance on the mound. She threw hitless and scoreless innings and struck out three.
“It was a great debut for Ali,” Ryman said. “It showed her what she is capable of doing on this level.”
There were a number of other firsts for the Lady Bisons players as Ryman had the opportunity to play everyone on the roster that made the trip.
“All of the girls who came off the bench for us were outstanding in both games,” Ryman said. “They came in ready to go. They were aggressive at the plate. They stepped in and knew exactly what was going on.”
Sophomore Vanessa Medina had three hits in the Oakland game, including her first collegiate home run. Her other two hits were doubles as she collected four RBI. It was her first game of the season. Her home run was hit off of the first pitch she faced.
Freshman Camille Cross collected her first collegiate hit in the Georgia Southern game. Another freshman, Lacy Walker, earned her first collegiate RBI in the Georgia Southern game on a sacrifice fly and then had her first hit in the Oakland game.
Freshman Megan Teller also got on the board with her first two collegiate hits in the Oakland game, including a double. She drove in three runs. Freshman outfielder Bree Thurman also had a couple of hits, her first of the season, as well.
“I really have a lot of praise for Lacy Walker, Megan Teller, Camille Cross, Megan Rottler, Bree Thurman, Mackenzie Tucker,” Ryman said. “They were all eager to get in the games. It was very team-oriented day.”
Kiihnl and senior first baseman Kellie Sirus each had two hits in the Georgia Southern game.
Senior center fielder Lauren Dortwegt and sophomore catcher Mollie Mitchell also had two hits in the Oakland game. Sirus doubled in the Oakland game.
“It’s one of those things to see us be able to what we are doing this early in the season,” Ryman said. “We are playing well right now.
“We are zoned in hitting-wise. We returned all of our hitters from last year. And we have a few others who will be in the mix this year.”
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations