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3/19/2012 | Nashville, Tenn. | Attendance: 137
3/19/2012 | Nashville, Tenn. | Attendance: 156
Monday, March 19, 2012
The pre-Atlantic Sun Conference schedule is designed as a series of tests for the Lipscomb Lady Bison.
And the grades aren’t always based on wins and losses. Monday afternoon at Draper Diamond the Lady Bison split a doubleheader with Marshall. They lost the first game 2-1 in eight innings and came back strong in the nightcap for a 4-1 win.
“I told the girls that we needed to win a close game,” Lady Bison coach Kristin Ryman said. “We needed to be in another tough situation where we knew what that pressure was like and we had to fight through it.
“In the first game I thought we were challenged and we struggled with that. In the second game we didn’t want to be comfortable even with a 4-1 lead. And that is nothing against our pitchers. We wanted to keep attacking and attacking. I thought we got better today mentally.”
One player who gets a mental boost with each outing is left-handed pitcher Ashley Anderson. She ended her shutout innings streak at 18, but the run in game two was unearned. She has shutdown the opposition in 23 of the last 24 innings.
Anderson held Marshall to four hits while walking three and striking out two.
“Ashley has definitely stepped up big time,” Lipscomb catcher Mollie Mitchell said. “This is technically her freshman year.
“Her drop ball is dropping off of the table. She is moving the ball all over the place. She is so confident out there. I don’t think she gets nervous any more. She is pitching like a second-or-third-year pitcher.”
In game one neither team scored until the eighth inning. Marshall scored two runs, one on a single down the left field line by Bri Anna Hope and another on an infield error.
The Lady Bison attempted to rally in the eighth. With two outs Rena Cothron singled down the left field line to score Bridgette Begle.
Marshall right-hander Andi Williamson, 11-6, allowed only two hits. She struck out 11 and walked six.
“When you face a good pitcher you have to take it as a challenge and not get down on yourself,” Ryman said. “When you face an outstanding pitcher it is nothing to get frustrated about.
“Going into the second game we turned it around and had a good attitude. I think that is big. In a doubleheader you don’t want to take the frustration of the first game into the second one. I thought we did a nice job of not letting that happen.”
Lipscomb right-hander Whitney Kiihnl, 13-4, scattered seven hits. She also struck out 11 and walked two.
It was the first loss at home to the Lady Bison this season and ended a seven-game winning streak.
The Lady Bison bounced back in game two with two runs in the first as Kelsey Cartwright tripled to right center to score Bree Thurman.
In the fourth the Lady Bison added two more runs when Gracey Aguirre slammed a two-run homer to left field, her first as a college player.
Marshall scored a run in the second when Victoria Marvin doubled to right center to bring home Jessica Hughes who reached base on an error.
Despite two team errors in game two Ryman pointed to the success of the defense, especially the play of Thurman in center and Begle at shortstop.
“We got some very big plays when we needed them,” Ryman said. “I thought Bridgette played very well at short. And Bree made some very key plays in center like the big play in the second game when she made a great catch and doubled the runner at first.
“Our defense is strong. We see it every day in practice. It is just a matter of overcoming some little minor things in games that technically go in the book as errors.”
Marshall’s Natalie Pulver threw 4.2 innings and gave up four hits and four runs. She walked three and struck out one. Erika Bennett closed out the game with 1.1 scoreless innings.
The Lady Bison, 16-7, head to the West Coast later this week to play in the Mustang Classic in San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.