HOUSTON, Texas _ The Lipscomb Lady Bisons started the second day of the Houston Hilton Classic Tournament with a come-from-behind win, but two such victories was too much to ask for in one day.
Saturday morning was an early start for the Lady Bisons who beat Texas State 7-3 after spotting them three runs. In the second game of the day, with No. 11-ranked Louisiana-Lafayette, the Lady Bisons allowed four runs in the first two innings and were unable to recover in a 5-2 loss.
The Lady Bisons are 3-1 in the classic at Cougar Softball Stadium at the University of Houston. They close out the weekend at 9 a.m. Sunday with a rematch with the host Cougars.
“We have had so many positives over the last day-and-a-half,” Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman said. “We really had an opportunity against ULL to be tested by a really good team.
“We found some areas where we need to continue to work. I told the players not to take that as a negative. But there are things we know we need to keep working on.”
Left-hander Ashley Anderson started for the Lady Bisons. She was touched for a home run over the center field wall by Nerissa Myers, the first batter she faced.
Louisiana-Lafayette capitalized on a walk, two singles and an error by Anderson in the second inning. Myers struck again, this time with an RBI-single to left field that scored Samantha Walsh.
Heather Parker, a right-hander, replaced Anderson on the mound at that point. Parker gave up a double to Brianna Cherry to right center that scored Myers and Natalie Fernandez, who had reached base on a single. Both runs were credited to Anderson.
Ryman noticed a change in the demeanor of her players after the lead-off home run.
“There was a change in our mentality,” Ryman said. “I thought going into the game our mentality was great. But we can’t let that one big inning take away from what we are doing.
“After the home run our aggressiveness took a backseat. It became a matter of not wanting to mess up against a really good team. But we settled back in and we finished really well.”
Haley Elliott, who had a two-run home run in the Texas State win, led all batters with a three-for-three performance against Louisiana-Lafayette. With two outs in the fourth Elliott homered down the left field line.
In the seventh, Elliott singled to left field with one out. She was replaced on the bases by Bree Thurman. Thurman scored when Bridgette Begle reached base on an error by the third baseman.
“Haley went three games without starting which I am sure was frustrating to a player who was all-conference last season,” Ryman said. “But she handled it really well. She was very mature.
“We have such a deep team. We are full of talent. There are a number of players who could be starting. Haley is an incredible example of someone staying positive and staying the course. She took her hacks against some really good pitching. Hopefully, she can continue to be in that power role.”
Right-hander Jordan Wallace started for the Ragin' Cajuns and picked up the win. She gave up three hits and one earned run. She struck out eight and did not walk a batter. Right-hander Victoria Brown earned the save as she allowed two hits and one unearned run in three innings. She struck out one and did not walk a batter.
It was the first game in the classic, and the first game of the season, for Louisiana-Lafayette. Anderson, 0-1, was credited with the loss. In 1.1 innings she allowed three hits, four earned runs, three walks and one strikeout.
“Ashley has had two really tough starts against two really good teams,” Ryman said. “The best is still yet to come for her. She has to stay positive with herself and hit her spots.
“We’re not overly concerned. She is an extremely hard worker. She is going to settle in fine.”
Parker threw 4.2 innings. Louisiana-Lafayette had six hits against her. One earned run was credited to her. She struck out seven and walked two.
In the wake of the loss Ryman stressed to her team not to be discouraged.
“We can score runs in a hurry with the best of them,” Ryman said. “We have to stay composed and level-headed about things. We have to keep playing our game and letting the chips fall where they may.”
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations