CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - Lipscomb’s opening trio of batters is finding harmony at the plate.
Lead-off hitter Brittany Elmore, No. 2 batter Paige Neely and Kelsey Cartwright in the No. 3 spot combined for 18 runs, 24 hits and 19 runs batted in as the Lady Bisons finished 4-1 in the Frost Classic hosted by Tennessee-Chattanooga.
“That is why they are there,” LU coach Kristin Ryman said. “They are very good hitters. They are very dangerous hitters. They have a way of getting on base and making things happen. It is a really good combination of hitters at the top of the order.”
The Lady Bisons prevailed 11-9 in 10 innings Sunday morning to beat Miami-Ohio. It was the second extra inning game for the Lady Bisons this season. They are 1-1 when games are tied after seven innings.
Elmore had three hits in the win over Miami-Ohio including a two-RBI triple in the 10th inning to help seal the victory. It was her third time in the Frost Classic to collect three hits in a game. She batted .611 for the weekend.
“Brittany had an outstanding weekend,” Ryman said. “She is seeing the ball really well right now. She is the spark at the top of the order.
“Her triple was absolutely huge. We were at a point where both teams were exchanging runs. That kind of blew it open for us and gave us more of a cushion where we didn’t feel like one mistake or one big hit was going to end the game in the bottom of the 10th.”
Neely, Cartwright, Haley Elliott, Rena’ Cothron and Heather Montgomery each slammed doubles as the Lady Bisons collected 15 hits.
LU scored four times in the third inning. Four times they would score one run _ the fifth, sixth, eighth and ninth innings. They finished with three in the 10th.
Miami-Ohio, 2-8, scored once in the fifth inning and added two runs in the sixth and three in the bottom of the seventh to send it into extra innings. They scored solo runs in the eighth, ninth and 10th innings.
“We want to score first in every game,” Ryman said. “Elmore is the table setter. She gets on base and we are doing the job behind her to move her over. It is extremely important to have someone at the top of the lineup who is doing a good job of getting on base.”
Kelsey Cartwright batted .500 for the weekend with eight hits and nine RBI.
“To get Kelsey and Brittany going in the same weekend shows how dynamic our offense can be and how dangerous it can be when everything is clicking at the top of the order,” Ryman said.
“Kelsey has the power. She settled down this weekend and let things come to her. She got in a groove the first day and it has carried over for her. She has her confidence back. She is finding a way to get on base and get innings going.”
Lipscomb right-hander Tanner Sanders evened her record at 3-3 with the win. In 10 innings she gave up 10 hits, five earned runs and two walks. She struck out a team season-high 10 batters.
The Lady Bisons have a busy week ahead. Tuesday they travel to Knoxville to face Southeastern Conference foe Tennessee at 4 p.m. Wednesday they play the first home game of the season when Wright State visits Draper Diamond for a 2 p.m. game.
The Purple and Gold Challenge is scheduled this weekend at Draper Diamond with the Lady Bisons playing host to Texas-El Paso, IPFW and Tennessee Tech. The Lady Bisons will play Texas-El Paso at 4:15 Friday. Saturday they face IPFW at 3:30 and Texas- El Paso at 5:45. They close out the tournament Sunday at 2:15 with Tennessee Tech.