|March 28, 2015||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||R||H||E|
|Win: YOUNG (8-9)||7.0||1||0||0||2||15|
|Loss: CAUDILL (2-5)||3.0||8||3||3||1||0|
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – Kelly Young just keeps getting better and better for the Lipscomb Lady Bisons softball team.
Saturday afternoon Young set a new single-game high for the season with 15 strikeouts in a 6-0 Atlantic Sun win over Northern Kentucky at Grein Softball Field.
“Late in the game I made the comment that Kelly does keep getting better and better,” Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman said. “Her last two outings we have seen her go out and close the door in the sixth and seventh innings. She struck out the side in the seventh and that really made a statement.
“It is every encouraging. She is growing in confidence every single time she goes out there. She certainly has the potential to continue doing what she is doing.”
Ryman added she doesn’t expect Young to strike out 15 batters in every game, but she wants her to replicate the approach to the game that earned her the Ks.
“I thought Kelly did a tremendous job of coming out and really attacking the zone early with a couple of strikeouts in the first inning," Ryman said. "She kept pounding the zone, and even late in the game when she got behind in the count, she wasn’t letting those at bats turn into walks.”
It was one of those cold spring days that often come around with a wind chill in the mid-to-high 20s, but the Lady Bisons were hot at the plate with 12 hits, tying their single-game season high.
The Lady Bisons erupted for two runs in the third inning as Baylee Williams singled up the middle to score Brittany Elmore. Gracey Aguirre tripled to right field to bring Williams home.
In the fourth inning the Lady Bisons added one run when Abby Fenichel scored from third on a wild pitch.
The Lady Bisons added three runs in the sixth. With bases loaded and one out Elmore singled to left field to bring Caitlin Plocheck home. Paige Neely walked to send Brianne Welch in to score. Williams then reached base on a fielder’s choice which plated Kasey Gibson.
Elmore, Williams, Aguirre, Fenichel and Welch each had two hits. Williams posted a game-high two runs batted in.
“We did a really nice job of hitting from top to bottom,” Ryman said. “We didn’t see a lot of extra base hits with Baylee getting a double and Gracey getting the triple.
“We were saying as coaches if we are singling people to death, making solid contact and hitting the ball sharply, I will take a lot of singles over a bunch of pop ups and two or three doubles. We only struck out one time. Right now, for us, the key is just having solid contact and putting the ball in play.”
Young, 8-9, went the distance for the Lady Bisons as she gave up only one hit.
“She only walked two today which is a little lower than normal for her,” Ryman said. “That is good for us to see with her strikeouts going up and her walks coming down.
“Northern Kentucky had a couple of other sharply hit balls that we made some nice plays on. Baylee Williams made a nice snag on a line drive. But outside of a couple of balls Kelly limited solid contact. It was a tremendous job by her to limit their opportunities.”
The Lady Bisons are 14-17, 2-2 in the A-Sun. Northern Kentucky falls to 4-17, 1-3 in the conference.
- Elmore stole two bases. She has 29 for the season, seven short of tying her all-time season high of 36 set in 2013.
- For the second game in a row Ryman was forced to shift her infield positions. With regular starting third baseman Mimi Cartwright still out of the lineup Welch returned to second, Williams played shortstop and Neely was back at third base.
Welch usually plays right or left field. Williams is the regular second baseman. Neely is the starting shortstop.
Gibson made her second start of the season, but her first in left field. Her previous start was as the designated player. She got her first hit of the season.
- This was the third shutout of the season for Young.
- The Lady Bisons unveiled their new purple jerseys against Northern Kentucky.
- Young’s 15 strikeouts are the most since Whitney Kiihnl struck out 17 against Samford Feb. 11, 2011.
- This was the third time the Lady Bisons have connected for 12 hits this season. The previous two were against Indiana State Feb. 7 and Tennessee State March 18.
- Aguirre’s three triples are a personal season high.
- Williams leads the team with six multiple-RBI games.
The two teams meet again Sunday for a doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m. CT.