Wednesday night at Draper Diamond the Lady Bisons split a doubleheader with Trevecca Nazarene, which qualified last year for the NAIA National Tournament. The Lady Bisons lost 3-0 in eight innings in game one and then came back from a 9-0 first inning deficit to win game two 11-9 in seven innings.
The Lady Bisons wore their pink game jerseys in honor of Cancer Awareness Month.
“It was not the best couple of games for us to end with,” Lady Bisons coach Kristin Ryman said. “We came out a little bit flat and it showed in the first game. We couldn’t manage to get anything going offensively.
“Pitching-wise we weren’t great in the first game but our pitching did keep us in it with Ashley Anderson and Jeneva “J.J.” Nelson each pitching four innings. They weren’t as sharp as we know they can be. It was 0-0 until the eighth inning.”
Trevecca approached the games like they were counting on their record. Ryman admits she was disappointed with how her team started off the doubleheader especially at the plate.
“We learned a lot by the end of the second game about our team,” Ryman said. “We had a really rough start in game two which is clearly not the way we wanted it to go.
“But this is the fall. This is our time to give people opportunities and throw them into situations and see what they can do. A lot of what we do in the spring is determined by what we see in the fall games."
Ali Watson struggled on the mound in game two. Whitney Kiihnl pitched the last six innings.
“I was very proud of our hitters and how they approached the second game,” Ryman said. “Before we had a chance to hit it was a 9-0 game.
“Our mentality from that point was that we couldn’t get it back with one swing. We decided to chip away and get back into the game. We slowly started putting some things together and had a couple of big innings that allowed us to get back into it.”
Freshman Kristen Sturdivant, a right-handed batter, hit an opposite field home run to drive in three runs.
“I’m proud of Whitney and her composure,” Ryman said. “She came in and we were down pretty big. All we needed her to do was to try to hold them off and give us the chance to get back into it offensively. She pitched six innings and did just that.
“We don’t want to take a loss too hard at this point. We talked to the girls after the games about our approach and focus and how we will get better.
Ryman and assistant coach Lexi Myers will be working with the players on the details of the game the rest of fall practice.
“We continue to see the youth,” Ryman said. “A lot of it is about confidence.
“The young ones got a good amount of game experience this fall which is what we wanted. We had a big win over Tennessee and then we have had games where we weren’t quite as sharp. We have a good idea of where we need to go from here.”
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations..