April 14, 20121234567RHE
Win: KIIHNL (19-9) 7.0100411
Loss: VIERRA (5-12) 7.051014
KIIHNL (LIP) 302000
IRWIN (BEL) 301000
April 14, 201212345RHE
Win: ANDERSON (8-4) 5.050000
Loss: GIFT (3-17) 2.187510
AGUIRRE (LIP) 323200
VIERRA (BEL) 301000
BYERS (BEL) 201000
HAMMER (BEL) 201000
ELROD (BEL) 101000
COOK (BEL) 101000
Shutouts lead to Lipscomb sweep of Belmont
Saturday, April 14, 2012
By Colby Wilson
Shutouts lead to Lipscomb sweep of Belmont

As far as doubleheader sweeps go, this one was pretty satisfying.

Two shutouts and a barrage of game two hits paced the Lady Bisons to victory over archrival Belmont in the two side’s final meetings as Atlantic Sun foes, Saturday. The sweep also pushed Lipscomb (27-13, 5-5 A-Sun) back to .500 in the Atlantic Sun and back into the conference race.

The first game, as has happened often in 2012, was a pitcher’s duel. Neither side pushed across a run until the seventh inning, with Lipscomb senior Whitney Kiihnl limiting Belmont (8-29, 3-7 A-Sun) to one hit total in the game, a Hannah Irwin single to lead off the fourth inning.

Kiihnl did her best to help out at the plate as well, collecting two of Lipscomb’s five hits in the first game.

The Lady Bisons pushed across the game’s lone run in the seventh thanks to timely hitting and luck. Freshman Gracey Aguirre blooped a double down the right field line, then came around to score after a Kristen Sturdivant liner to left field was dropped.

Kiihnl had one of her best performances of the 2012 campaign, throwing a one-hit shutout and striking out a season-high tying 11 batters on the way to her 19th victory.

“We’d developed a bit of a mental block, so it was good to get the win,” said Lipscomb head coach Kristin Ryman. “We’re much better when we play loose.”

Game Two – Lipscomb 9, Belmont 0 (Five Innings)

Playing loose was no problem in the second game. Lipscomb pounded out a dozen hits and run-ruled Belmont to complete the sweep of the Bruins.

Lipscomb got on the board in the second inning. After senior Mollie Mitchell drew a lead-off walk, senior Caroline Mason reached on a throwing error after laying down a sacrifice bunt.

After an Elliott ground out, Mitchell scored and Mason moved to third on a passed ball. A single by Aguirre brought in Mason and gave Lipscomb a 2-0 lead.

The Lady Bisons poured in five runs in the third, helped by a Mitchell two-run homer that scored sophomore Rena’ Cothron. Aguirre, Sturdivant and sophomore Bridgette Begle each had run-scoring singles in the fifth inning to balloon the lead to seven runs.

Sturdivant would add her season’s fifth home run in the fifth inning, a two-run opposite-field shot that just cleared the right-field wall and scored Aguirre.

Aguirre, the freshman from Houston, Texas, has been tearing the cover off the ball of late. She’s hitting .444 in her last 10 games with five doubles, a home run and nine runs batted in.

That would be enough for Anderson to earn the run-rule shutout. She scattered five hits and no runs in five innings while not allowing a walk.

“I thought Ashley had a lot of good movement on her pitches today,” Ryman said. “They really didn’t get many solid hits off her.”

The Lady Bisons will be on the road next weekend, squaring off against Atlantic Sun foes Kennesaw State (April 20) and Mercer (April 21).