March 29, 201512345RHE
Lipscomb0747725250
Northern Kentucky124007111
PitchingIPHRERBBSO
Win: SANDERS (8-8) 2.110005
Loss: CAUDILL (2-6) 1.212121201
BattingABRHRBIBBHR
PLOCHECK (LIP) 545802
DEVLIN (NKU) 312201
BARTOLOVICH (NKU) 302000
McQUEEN (NKU) 312000
HAYES (NKU) 312200
Softball's offensive extravaganza too much for NKU
Sunday, March 29, 2015
By Mark McGee
Softball's offensive extravaganza too much for NKU

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – The Lipscomb Lady Bisons shattered offensive records as a team and as individuals that are too numerous to mention in the nightcap of an Atlantic Sun doubleheader at Northern Kentucky.

The Lady Bisons earned their first Atlantic Sun series sweep of the season as they beat Northern Kentucky 6-0 and 25-7 Sunday afternoon at Grein Softball Field. Saturday the Lady Bisons won 6-0.

It was an offensive fest for the Lady Bisons in game two as they pounded 25 hits including four doubles and four home runs. Both the 25 hits and 25 runs are all-time NCAA single-game team records.

“This was the offensive explosion we have been building towards,” Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman said. “We felt like we could come into this weekend and really do some good things. It was contagious when we started getting things going.

“We have been paying more attention to our quality at bats. We had a lot during the first two games in the series but I knew we were capable of more. Offensively, the team carried game two.”

Caitlin Plocheck led the assault at the plate with a 5-for-5 performance in the nightcap that also included eight runs batted in. Two of the hits for Plocheck were home runs with a two-RBI shot to left center in the third and a solo blast to left center in the fifth. Three of Plocheck’s RBI were in the fifth as she closed out her at bats with a two-RBI single to right field.

“She has been building towards this,” Ryman said. “We are really excited for her and the weekend she had. She was 8-of-8 for the day and 9-of-11 for the series.

“She was hitting for extra bases. She was driving people in. We knew she was capable of that. It has taken time for her to click and for her to get comfortable with her swing again."

The freshman set season and career individual highs in game two with both her hits and RBI totals. Both are also season highs for the team as well.

“She has always been successful offensively,” Ryman said. “She had a rough start this season. But the reason we have kept her in was because we knew she had to work through that and grow and develop into what we know she is going to become down the road.

“She is working so hard on her swing. She has been mentally hanging tough and battling through things. We are going to continue to build on this with her.”

Brittany Elmore had four hits with a double and a home run. The homer, a two-RBI blast to right center in the second, was her first of the season. She finished with three RBI.

Paige Neely connected for three hits including a pair of doubles and three RBI.

Gracey Aguirre finished with three hits and two RBI.

Brianne Welch brought in three runs with a home run shot to center in the second.

Kelly Young added three hits and scored three times.

Also getting multiple hits were Baylee Williams, who had one double; Abby Fenichel; and Kasey Gibson.

The Lady Bisons spotted Northern Kentucky a run in the first on a home run. The Lady Bisons responded with seven runs in the second, four in the third, seven in the fourth and seven in the fifth.

Northern Kentucky added two runs in the second and four in the third.

Kelly Young started for the Lady Bisons and gave up three hits and two runs, both earned, in one inning. She struck out one batter and did not walk anyone.

McCarley Thomas relieved and threw 1.2 innings allowing seven hits and five runs

Tanner Sanders closed out the game throwing 2.1 shutout innings and picking up her second win of the day. She gave up one hit and did not walk a batter. She struck out five.

“The plan was for Kelly to come back and pitch a full game, but it wasn’t Kelly’s day for whatever reason,” Ryman said. “We could tell early on she wasn’t sharp.

“We had a pretty good lead. We went with McCarley. She made some good pitches at times. But it was not her best ultimately. We left her in long enough to get her some work and to let Tanner warm up.”

In game one Sanders, 7-8, went the distance for the Lady Bisons. She set a single game career high for strikeouts with 12. She allowed two hits and walked one batter.

“I am proud of Tanner coming on in the second game and doing what she had done in game one,” Ryman said. “She halted Northern Kentucky’s momentum.”

The Lady Bisons scored one run in the second, three in the fourth and two in the sixth.

Plocheck led the way with two doubles and three hits overall in three trips to the plate. She also drove in three runs.

Aguirre, Fenichel and Young each had two hits. Young also drove in two runs, a single game season high.

The Lady Bisons are 16-17 overall, 4-2 in the A-Sun. Northern Kentucky is 4-19, 1-5 in the conference.

QUICK HITS:

  • Gibson not only got her first two hits of the season, but the first hits of her career. It was also her first multi-hit game of her career.
  • The Lady Bisons are 4-0 with their newest starting lineup of Fenichel (C), Plocheck (1B), Welch (2B), Neely (3B) and Williams (SS) in the infield.
  • Williams has hits in her last five games, tying her longest streak of the season.
  • The Lady Bisons are 5-5 in games that have been called early in either the fifth or sixth inning. One of the losses, a 3-0 decision at UAB, was stopped after 5.1 innings due to weather. The others were decided by the run-rule which comes into play when one team leads by eight runs after five innings.
  • Neely has reached base in a team-leading 13 straight games.

ON DECK:

The Lady Bisons are back in action Tuesday when they play Mississippi State at 4 p.m. in a single game.