March 03, 20121234567RHE
Penn State1000003492
Win: Akamine (3-4) 3.110015
Loss: KIIHNL (8-3) 7.094358
Sovereign (PSU) 412000
Renwick (PSU) 322110
Hatfield (PSU) 402100
March 03, 20121234567RHE
Ball State002000X240
Win: WORKMAN (3-5) 7.020022
Loss: ANDERSON (0-3) 6.042233
THURMAN (LIP) 201010
COTHRON (LIP) 301000
RAGER (BSU) 301000
Softball Drops Two at the Citrus Classic
Saturday, March 3, 2012
Softball Drops Two at the Citrus Classic

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The Lipscomb Lady Bison played 14 innings, but in the end only two made a difference - a three-run seventh inning rally by Penn State for a 4-3 win and a two-run third against Ball State in a 2-0 loss.

The Lady Bison lost both games Saturday at the Citrus Classic at ESPN's Wide World of Sports at Disneyworld, but they are being noticed in a field featuring programs from some of the biggest conferences in the country.

"This has been a neat environment," Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman said. "Penn State's coach told me we were the best hitting team they had faced all year. That is a huge compliment.

"Win or lose we have made an impression here. Our girls need to understand the amount of progress we have made. We can't lose confidence over a couple of close losses. The character of this team is to fight and we will continue to do that."

In game one the Lady Bison jumped out to a quick lead against Penn State.

Junior Kelse Cartwright led the Lady Bison with three hits, including a solo home run to left in the third inning. She drove in the first run of the game for the Lady Bison in the first with a single to right field that scored sophomore Rena' Cothron.

Sophomore Kristen Sturdivant walked to lead off the second inning. She advanced to second on a fielding error by the pitcher and moved to third on fielder's choice to shortstop by junior Bree Thurman. Sturdivant scored on a wild pitch.

Sophomore Haley Elliott rapped out a single and a double against Penn State.

Penn State scored one run in the first and added three in the top of the seventh to seal the win. Penn State had only one extra base hit, a double by Alyssa Sovereign in the seventh.

"It was just like what we did Friday," Ryman said. "We put the foot off of the gas pedal a little bit more so from a mentality standpoint than anything.

"We have talked a lot about playing a full seven innings. Every time out for the girls is a learning experience. We are getting better and better. I feel it. I see it."

Whitney Kiihnl, 8-3, went the distance for the Lady Bison. She gave up nine hits and four runs, three earned. She struck out eight and walked five.

Penn State used three pitchers with Lisa Akamine getting the win after giving up only one hit and no runs in 3.1 innings.

The Lady Bison closed out the day against Ball State. Left-hander Ashley Anderson threw six innings, allowing only four hits while walking three and striking out three.

After forcing the first two batters in the third inning to ground out, Anderson walked Jennifer Gilbert. The next batter, Hanne Stuedemann, tripled to center to bring in Gilbert. Amanda Montalto followed with a single to short that sent Stuedemann across the plate.

"I thought Ashley probably had her best game so far," Ryman said. "She really did a good job of getting ahead of hitters. She gave up the one big hit but I didn't think she had a let up,

"We made some great defensive plays behind her. I thought Bridgette Begle had a great game at short. Ashley can build off of this game and our team can build off playing behind her like they did."

Audrey Workman threw a complete game for Ball State, holding the Lady Bison to only two hits. She struck out two and walked two.

The only Lipscomb batters to get hits were Thurman and Cothron. Both were singles.

"It was a bittersweet type of game," Ryman said. "Against Penn State we had nine hits and against Ball State we only had two.

"But against Ball State I felt like we hit the ball as well or better than they did. We just didn't have a lot to show for it. We hit the ball extremely hard multiple times right at people."

Ryman continues to stress the need for the Lady Bison hitters to keep swinging the bats and not hesitating.

"We are hitting the ball well," Ryman said "We hit the ball all over the field. We have to stay in attack mode. We have to force the issue."

The Lady Bison are scheduled to close out the tournament Sunday against St. John's at 9 a.m. But weather might be a factor.

"We have to keep learning from our mistakes," Ryman said. "The Penn State game was definitely a frustrating loss. But we kind of want to remember that feeling so that we worked that much harder the next time."

Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.