May 05, 20121234567RHE
Win: KIIHNL (22-12) 7.020024
Loss: WOLFF (5-19) 6.064331
HORNER (ETSU) 301000
May 05, 20121234567RHE
Win: ANDERSON (12-6) 7.0115231
Loss: MORRIS (2-16) 6.0107223
MARTIN (ETSU) 403100
KIIHNL (LIP) 413000
Lipscomb sweeps ETSU to end regular season
Sunday, May 6, 2012
Lipscomb sweeps ETSU to end regular season

The Lipscomb Lady Bisons, weary from four games and finals, have a few days to rest and recuperate before heading to the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament.

The Lady Bisons, seeded No. 4 with an 11-7 conference record, 34-18 overall; will face No. 5-seeded Jacksonville Wednesday at Cyrill Stadium on the campus of USC Upstate in Spartanburg in the opening game of the tournament at 2 p.m. CDT. 

Jacksonville is 10-8, 30-23 overall. The Lady Bisons split with Jacksonville on the road losing 1-0 in game one and coming back strong in game two for a 9-3 win.

Saturday night the Lady Bisons closed out the regular season with a sweep of ETSU, winning game one on a 4-0 shutout by right-hander Whitney Kiihnl in her last appearance in the pitcher’s circle at Draper Diamond. Freshman left-hander Ashley Anderson won game two by a 7-5 margin.

“These were two big games to roll into the tournament with,” Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman said. “We have to know we are as good as anybody in the tournament. We can do it, but we have to go out and do our part.

“There was a lot of emotion this weekend with Senior Day and their last chance to play on the field. We just won two games and there are still some tears. We are going into this tournament winning three of our last four games and that is big.”

The Lady Bisons were able to flex their hitting muscles a little bit in the doubleheader. In game one the Lady Bisons had only six hits, but one was a two-run homer to left field in the third inning by Kelsey Cartwright, her 15th of the year. Also adding extra bases hits was Kristen Sturdivant with a solo home run to left in the sixth and a double to right center in the fourth. Sturdivant led all batters in the first game with three hits in as many trips to the plate.

In game two the Lady Bisons collected 10 hits. Sturdivant, pinch-hitting in the sixth slammed a solo shot, her second of the night, over the fence in left center.

Caroline Mason sparked the Lady Bisons three-run outburst in the first inning with a two-RBI double down the left field line.

“It was not that we needed the home runs, but we needed to get some of those big hits,” Ryman said. “We needed to get that feel back and that confidence back. It was really good to see that.”

Kiihnl and Cartwright were the top hitters in the game with each one pounding out three hits.

“It was good to see us come out and swing the bats pretty well,” Ryman said. “There were a few times where I thought we had runners on and we didn’t execute and find ways to get those key hits. But then we would get hits with nobody on.”

Kiihnl, 22-12, gave up only two hits for her ninth shutout of the season. She struck out four and walked two.

Anderson, 12-6, scattered 11 hits and gave up five runs, only two earned. She walked three and struck out one. She did not give up an extra-base hit. She had to deal with three innings where she loaded the bases.

“Ashley will give up a decent amount of hits, but a lot of them are just singles,” Ryman said. “She works herself out of jams by coming up with key plays.”

Kiihnl was honored between games. Ryman and pitching coach Lexi Myers presented Kiihnl with the game ball she used to record her 1000th strikeout earlier this season. She is only the third pitcher in A-Sun history to reach that mark.

Shortstop Bridgette Begle was forced to leave game one in the third inning when a softball bounced off of an ETSU runner and hit her in the face. She did not return.  Jordan Abell took over at second base and Cartwright moved to shortstop. Begle is expected to be ready for the tournament.

“Jordan is a spunky player,” Ryman said. “Second is her natural position, but it had been awhile since she had played there. It was big for us for her to come in and fill in the way she did.”

Sunday the Lady Bisons will take a day off and then practice Monday morning before heading to Spartanburg.

“They have been going hard,” Ryman said. “With finals just finishing they are worn out. This will give them the chance to catch their breath a little. We’ll get some good hitting in Monday morning and take off.”

ETSU finished the season with a 1-17 conference record, 11-37 overall.

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