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March 10, 20131234567RHE
Win: TILLMAN (2-2) 6.051134
Loss: ANDERSON (1-2) 4.163333
NEELY (LIP) 402000
SANCHEZ (JU) 303000
Seventh inning rally falls short for Lady Bison Softball
Sunday, March 10, 2013
By Mark McGee
Seventh inning rally falls short for Lady Bison Softball

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A late rally fell short as the Lipscomb Lady Bisons lost 3-1 to close out the first Atlantic Sun series of the season at the Jacksonville Softball Complex.

“It was a frustrating way to end, but overall what we saw was much better than what we had been seeing,” Lady Bisons coach Kristin Ryman said. “We are definitely taking steps in the right direction.

“We mixed things up defensively this weekend. We really liked the defensive changes that we saw. Hitting-wise we hit better than we have been."

First baseman Kristen Sturdivant hit a home run for the second time in the series. Her blast to right center led off the seventh inning as the Lady Bisons attempted to start a rally.

Rena’ Cothron entered the game as a pinch hitter and was hit by a pitch. Bree Thurman, also pinch hitting, popped out to center field. Brittany Elmore reached base on a throwing error by Jacksonville’s shortstop. Bridgette Begle singled to center but Brianne Welch, a pinch runner, was thrown out at third.

Paige Neely, who had two of the Lady Bisons six hits, missed adding a third one as she grounded out to third base to end the game.

In the first inning the Purple and Gold threatened with a hit and walk, but could not get on the scoreboard as Begle was thrown out at the plate.

“It was a really close call,” Ryman said. “It was a great try by her to get in there.

“After that we struggled to get some things going. We had plenty of runners on, but we couldn’t get that key hit to get a rally started.”

Left-hander Ashley Anderson, 1-2, started for the Lady Bisons. In 4.1 innings she scattered six hits, allowed three earned runs, walked three and struck out three.

Right-hander Heather Parker closed out the game shutting down Jacksonville with no hits in 1.2 innings. She struck out two and did not walk a batter.

“I thought Ashley threw really well,” Ryman said. “We made a couple of mistakes in the third inning when Jacksonville scored its runs. I thought they were going to be unearned. I was tough luck there for her.

“She did some really great things. She threw some quality innings. She deserved to win that game. It was definitely what we needed to see out of her from the standpoint of moving forward.”

All three of Jacksonville’s runs were scored after one out in the third inning. A walk and three hits, including a two-RBI single to center by Sarah Simon highlighted the inning.

Jacksonville is 16-8, 2-1 in the conference.

The Lady Bisons, 8-11 overall, 1-2 in the A-Sun, are back in action Wednesday in Clarksville for a doubleheader with Austin Peay from the Ohio Valley Conference starting at 2 p.m.

Kennesaw State will visit Draper Diamond Saturday and Sunday for an A-Sun series. The two teams will play a doubleheader at 2 p.m. Saturday and a single game Sunday at 2.

“We talked after the game about how every A-Sun series is going to be a dog fight,” Ryman said. “We have to be prepared for that.

“We have to be mentally ready to be in some tight games where every little play is going to matter. It is a matter of getting everybody clicking at once. We still aren’t at that point, but I think we are really close.”