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Lady Bisons slam ETSU in conference opener twinbill
Haley Elliott
Haley Elliott

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Lipscomb softball team displayed its offensive power on Friday and got two quality outings from Whitney Kiihnl and JJ Nelson as the Lady Bisons swept ETSU in the conference opener doubleheader in Johnson City.

The Lady Bisons (13-11 overall, 2-0 A-Sun) outscored the Lady Bucs 18-2 in the two games while posting wins of 9-0 and 9-2 at Betty Basler Field.

Similar to the first game of the day, Lipscomb jumped out to an early lead after scoring three runs in the top of the second inning to lead 3-0 over the Lady Bucs.

ETSU pulled within a run in the bottom half of the third inning when they scored two runs on three hits while taking advantage of a Bison error.

For the second straight game, the Lady Bisons (13-11, 2-0 A-Sun) scored four runs in the fourth inning as Courtney Billington’s three-RBI double to the gap in left-center cleared the bases and gave Lipscomb a 6-2 lead. After Haley Elliott drew a walk, ETSU’s pitcher Katie Wolff threw a pair of wild pitches, allowing Billington to score, giving the Lady Bisons a five run lead (7-2).

Lead-off hitter Breanna Thurman tacked on another run with a fifth-inning solo home run to left-center for her third hit of the game. The home run was Thurman’s fourth of the year, tying for the team lead with Vanessa Medina and Haley Elliott.

Leading 8-2, Lipscomb’s Caroline Mason and Kristen Sturdivant recorded back-to-back doubles in the sixth inning to make the score 9-2.

The Lady Bisons outhit the Lady Bucs 7-6 in the nightcap and posted four extra-base hits to ETSU’s one.

JJ Nelson (1-4) allowed two runs, one earned on six hits in a complete-game win in game two.

Thurman went 3-for-4 with 3 RBI and Billington drove in three runs of her own to lead the Lady Bisons offense in game two.

Lipscomb will travel east to Spartanburg, S.C. tonight as they prepare for a Saturday afternoon showdown with 25th-ranked USC Upstate.  The Lady Bisons and Spartans were picked to finished first and second in the Atlantic Sun Conference this year.

The Spartans (30-3 overall, 2-0 A-Sun) swept Belmont on Friday night. Live stats of Saturday’s game will be available on Lipscombsports.com courtesy of UpstateSpartans.com.


Game 1: Lipscomb 9, ETSU 0


Whitney Kiihnl tossed a complete-game one-hitter and the Lady Bisons used the long ball to defeat East Tennessee State 9-0 in the Atlantic Sun Conference opener at Betty Basler Field on Friday afternoon.

The Lady Bisons belted four home runs, including two by Haley Elliott en route to their sixth shutout win of the year.

Lipscomb (12-11, 1-0 A-Sun) jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first when Breanna Thurman scored on an error before Mackenzie Tucker scored on a RBI-single by Vanessa Medina.

Elliott connected on her first of two home runs in the game when she led off the second inning with a solo-shot over the left-field wall.

With a 3-0 lead in the third inning, Elliott’s added to Lipscomb’s lead with a two-out single to right, allowing Caroline Mason to score. Later in the inning, Kiihnl helped her own cause, driving a 2-0 offering from ETSU’s Jessica Duncan down the right field line for an RBI-double allowing Elliott to score.
 
Meanwhile, Kiihnl (10-6) was nearly perfect on the mound, striking out nine of the first 10 batters she faced and issuing no walks in the game.

Kiihnl's 11-strikeout performance Friday, marked the 10th time this year that she recorded at least 10 strikeouts in a game. The Lady Bisons’ ace has posted double-digit strikeout games in six of her last seven outings.

With Lipscomb leading 5-0 after three frames, the Lady Bisons tacked on four more in the fourth as they broke out the big sticks, connecting on three home runs, including back-to-back two-out jacks by Courtney Billington and Elliott.

Tucker led-off the fourth with a four-pitch walk before scoring on Mason’s two-run shot over the left-field wall. The three homer inning marked the first of the season for Lipscomb.

The game was called after the fifth-inning as the run-rule came into effect.

With the win, Lipscomb improved to 12-11 overall and 1-0 in the A-Sun.