Whitney Kiihnl and Ali Watson combined for the shutout. The Lady Bisons are one short of tying the program record of 17 set last season.
It was the fifth straight win for the Lady Bisons.
“There wasn’t a lot going on early on,” Lady Bisons coach Kristin Ryman said. “We finally put together some things mid-way through. We put it all together at the right time.”
Watson pitched one inning in relief in the seventh and did not allow a hit or a run. Kiihnl threw the first six innings. She gave up two hits, walked three and struck out 10.
“Whitney threw a great game, but we had an opportunity to get Ali in against a good hitting team,” Ryman said. “We wanted to put her in that situation and see how she would respond. She came in and got three good outs to win the game. That is what we need from her.”
The Lady Bisons scored three runs in the fourth inning and one in the fifth.
To open the fourth Abby Keese hit a hard ground ball to second and was out at first. But she set a tone for the team. Kellie Sirus doubled to right center. Courtney Billington reached base on an error. Christen Campbell singled to left to score Sirus. Mollie Mitchell singled through the left side to score Billington. Bree Thurman grounded out to second base, but moved the runners. Kiihnl singled up the middle to bring in Campbell.
With two outs in the fifth Sirus walked. She scored on a single by Campbell.
Campbell led the Lady Bisons with two hits and two runs batted in. Sirus had the only multiple base hit with a double. She also scored twice. The Lady Bisons finished with eight hits.
“The bottom half of our lineup really did a lot of good things,” Ryman said. “It was kind of spread out. Everybody did a little bit to help us win.
“I thought Western played a good game against us. They made some outstanding defensive plays against us. We could have had more hits than we had but they made some great plays to keep themselves in it.”
Kiihnl earned the win and is 17-2 for the season. She entered the week ranked first in the NCAA in hits allowed per seven innings (1.97). She is seventh nationally in earned run average (0.76), 12th in wins and 14th in strikeouts per seven innings (11.0).
The Lady Bisons, 25-7, 4-0 in the Atlantic Sun Conference, will spend the rest of the week preparing for a weekend trip Florida where they will face Jacksonville Friday and North Florida Saturday in Atlantic Sun play.
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.