NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Lipscomb softball coach Kristin Ryman wanted her Lady Bisons to do a little fine-tuning before opening Atlantic Sun play.
Thursday afternoon at Rose Park the Lady Bisons were tuned on all levels in a 13-0 shutout of Belmont in the softball version of the “Battle of the Boulevard”. The game was called after six innings due to the run rule.
Lipscomb is 13-2. Belmont fell to 5-7.
The Lady Bisons will play their first conference series Saturday and Sunday at North Florida. In the Belmont game Ryman wanted to see her team play with more urgency defensively and attack at the plate.
She got what she wanted as the Lady Bisons pounded out 11 hits and did not commit an error.
“I thought we did a really nice job of hitting the ball and making adjustments when they made pitching changes,” Ryman said. “We were taking what they were giving us. It was good to see us adjust quickly.”
The Lady Bisons opened with one run in the first and added four in the third, five in the second and six in the sixth.
Rena’ Cothron led all hitters with three, including a two-RBI double to left field in the sixth. She finished with a game and season high three RBI.
Hitting in the eighth spot in the order she is batting .394.
“Rena’ is seeing the ball right now,” Ryman said. “She is getting the job done down in the bottom part of the order.
“Rena’ has worked and worked and worked. She has put in extra time. I am really proud that it is all kind of coming together for her with her swing. She has one of the better eyes at the plate on the team. She has good plate discipline.”
Gracey Aguirre blasted an RBI-triple down the right field line in the third inning. Paige Neely opened the fourth with a triple down the left field line. Both Neely and Aguirre each had two hits.
Also adding an extra base hit was Brittany Elmore with an RBI-double to center field in the fifth.
“We had a couple of big hits, but at the same time I thought we strung together some singles, we took advantage of some infield singles and ran the bases pretty well,” Ryman said. “By just putting the ball in play we found ways to make things happen. The attack mode we saw was good.”
Belmont used three pitchers with starter Brittanie Albright getting the loss. In addition to the 11 hits Belmont’s pitchers walked seven batters and hit two more.
Lipscomb right-hander Tanner Sanders raised her record to 6-1. She allowed two hits, struck out two and walked five.
“Tanner ran into trouble in the middle of the game,” Ryman said. “She had a few more walks than we would have liked.
“We wanted to see her work through some of that. She did a nice job of rebounding and did a nice job the last couple of innings. Overall I thought she did a nice job.”
In the third inning Sanders escaped a two-out bases loaded jam as second baseman Mimi Cartwright caught a line drive.
Belmont loaded the bases again in the fourth, this time with one out. Twice the Lady Bisons stopped runners from scoring to end the inning on throws by Mimi Cartwright and Neely to Cothron at the plate.
“Paige did a great job at third cutting off some of that five-to-six hole gap. I thought Bridgette Begle had a nice snag on a liner. And Mimi had a nice snag on a liner at second. Defensively, we came up with some really big plays throughout the game.”
“It is definitely a positive in the right direction of what we are looking for defensively. We made timely plays. I thought we executed well.”