Offense catches fire; Softball advances to championship
Friday, May 13, 2011
Offense catches fire; Softball advances to championship

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Lipscomb bats caught fire Friday evening in the consolation bracket as the No. 2-seeded Lady Bisons defeated No. 4 seed Campbell 7-2 in the Atlantic Sun Championship at Cyrill Stadium.

Lipscomb plays Jacksonville Saturday at 11 a.m. central in the championship game with an automatic berth to the NCAA tournament on the line.  Because Lipscomb is coming out of the consolation bracket, the Lady Bisons will have to defeat Jacksonville twice to earn the conference crown.  Game two would come thirty minutes following the conclusion of game one.

Breanna Thurman led off the first for Lipscomb with a walk.  Mackenzie Tucker advanced her to second with an infield single.  Caroline Mason advanced them into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt and then Mollie Mitchell walked to load the bases.  After an out, Kristen Sturdivant drove in two runs with a single to left field.

After allowing just one base runner in the first three innings, Lipscomb pitcher Ali Watson escaped a bases-loaded situation in the fourth inning.  Campbell produced two singles and then an error by third baseman Rena Cothron loaded the bases with two outs.  Watson induced a ground ball out to second base to end the inning.

The Lady Bisons expanded their lead to 5-0 in the bottom of the fourth.  Cothron squeezed home Shelby Cunningham on a sacrifice bunt with two outs.  Then Bridgette Begle doubled two runs in with a line drive off the third baseman’s glove.

Watson wasn’t as lucky in the fifth inning.  Sarah Ling had a leadoff double for Campbell.  An error then put runners on the corners.  Then Campbell pulled a delayed double steal scoring a run when the Lady Bisons opted to throw down to second.  Two batters later, Campbell scored their second run of the inning on a groundout.

Lipscomb made up the two runs in the bottom half of the inning.  With one out, Mitchell and then Courtney Billington had back-to-back doubles scoring Mitchell.  Two consecutive walks loaded the bases with one out.  Cothron hit a shallow fly to right field which was dropped allowing Billington to score and put Lipscomb up 7-2.

Watson pitched a seven-hit complete game allowing two runs, one earned, to improve to 8-4 on the season.

All games during the Atlantic Sun Softball Championship are shown for free on ASun.TV.