Bats awaken in 15-hit Lady Bisons victory
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
By Mark McGee
Bats awaken in 15-hit Lady Bisons victory

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - It wasn't exactly softball weather, but it was a fun night for the Lipscomb Lady Bisons.

The Lady Bisons flexed their muscles with 15 hits, four for extra bases, and gave several players some unexpected playing time in a 10-3 win over Middle Tennessee at Blue Raider Stadium Wednesday night.

"Hitting-wise I thought we hit really well top to bottom," LU coach Kristin Ryman said. "It is fun when we do that. It is fun for them and it is fun for us as coaches because we get to see them relax and play and have a good time.

"All the way around our hitters did a nice job of adjusting when Middle Tennessee made pitching changes."

Brittany Elmore and Bridgette Begle led the Lady Bisons with three hits each. Begle had a two-RBI double and two singles.

"Bridgette hit a shot up the middle in her first at bat for a single," Ryman said. "If she is seeing the ball well she can get on a roll. I thought she had good at bats all night.

"She found ways to make things happen. When you get her and Brittany going at the same time it makes us that much more dynamic."

Haley Elliott had a strong night with an RBI-double and a solo home run. She has six doubles and six home runs this season.

"Haley has worked so hard on her swing lately to try to get back a few things fundamentally that she has been struggling with," Ryman said. "I know it has been a frustrating few weeks for her in trying to figure those things out.

"But she has stayed patient. She hasn't been getting down on herself. She has just kept coming to practice ready to get better. I knew at some point it was going to pay off for her. Hopefully, this will jumpstart her for the rest of the season."

Heather Montgomery and Bree Thurman added two hits. One of Thurman's hits was a double and also drove in one run.

"Bree is a dynamic hitter," Ryman said. "She has speed. She has power."

Brianne Welch started in right field to give Gracey Aguirre a rest. Madison Wray played the sixth and seventh innings at first base. Shelby Cunningham entered the game as a pinch-hitter for Heather Montgomery in the fifth and remained in the game in left field.

"It was fun to get some other people in and give them some good quality at bats," Ryman said. "It was a cold chilly night. I was glad to see us come out and mentally stay sharp and find ways to win."

Middle Tennessee opened with a 1-0 lead on a home run in the first by Kayla Toney. The Lady Bisons answered with four runs in the second, two in the fourth, two in the fifth, one in the sixth and one in the seventh. Middle Tennessee added one in the third and one more in the sixth.

Tanner Sanders started the game for the Purple and Gold and picked up the win lifting her record to 16-8. She allowed four hits and two runs, both earned in three innings. She struck out four and walked two.

Heather Parker pitched the final four innings. She gave up one hit and one run. She struck out five and did not walk a batter.

"With us only playing one game we thought it would be good for both of them to get a few innings in," Ryman said. "Parker is usually better coming in for relief so we started Tanner.

"Tanner worked herself out of some jams. She gave up the one big hit, but other than she did a pretty decent job. Overall both she and Parker did a nice job."

LU is 28-21. Middle Tennessee fell to 5-44.

The Lady Bisons return to Draper Diamond this weekend for a three-game Atlantic Sun series with Stetson. A doubleheader begins at 2:30 Saturday which will also be "Think Pink" day.

"I am excited to get a game like this under our belts going into the weekend," Ryman said. "Hopefully, it will give us some momentum."