March 31, 20151234567RHE
Mississippi State0000100141
Lipscomb0000000021
PitchingIPHRERBBSO
Win: Alexis Silkwood (19-7) 7.020014
Loss: SANDERS (8-9) 7.041179
BattingABRHRBIBBHR
Julia Echols (MSU) 301010
Mackenzie Toler (MSU) 301110
Kayla Winkfield (MSU) 301000
Loryn Nichols (MSU) 311000
ELMORE (LIP) 301000
PLOCHECK (LIP) 301000
Softball loses heartbreaker with Mississippi State
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
By Mark McGee
Softball loses heartbreaker with Mississippi State

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Mississippi State showed its respect for the Lipscomb Lady Bisons softball program by starting left-hander Alexis Silkwood in the circle.

Silkwood, 19-7, shut down the Lady Bisons in a 1-0 win Tuesday afternoon at Draper Diamond at Smith Stadium. She allowed only two hits, but the Lady Bisons made consistent contact with only four strikeouts. 

“I think they know that although we are not quite as high in the RPI right now as we want to be, or we normally would be, we have played a tough schedule and we are a good team,” Ryman said. “They keep tabs on their opponents really well.

“They knew we were a team that has been a dangerous at times. They didn’t want to take anything for granted. It was a hard fought game on both sides. They had to fight to get their one run.”

Brittany Elmore and Caitlin Plocheck connected for the two hits for the Lady Bisons.

“I hate that we only have two hits to show for it,” Ryman said. “We were putting the ball in play well. Our last three outs were all solid.

“That is a huge positive for us. Offensively, we had some great chances. We just came up short.”

The game was a pitching duel all the way with Mississippi State scoring the lone run in the fifth inning. The Bulldogs led off the inning with a pair of singles. With one out Mackenzie Toler singled to bring in Loryn Nichols.

Lipscomb right-hander Tanner Sanders, 8-9, went the distance. She struck out nine, walked seven and gave up four hits, all singles.

“Tanner threw a tremendous game for us,” Ryman said. “She was really attacking the zone. Most of her walks were on borderline pitches that could have gone either way.

“Mississippi State has been a good hitting team all year. We want Tanner attacking the zone, trusting her pitches and being consistent in hitting her spots. Tanner kept us in the game.”

Ryman wasn't looking for a consolation prize, but she likes the progress she continues to see from her team.

“Early in the season I don’t think we would have played them that close,” Ryman said. “I don’t think we would have handled a game like this as well. That shows how much we are maturing as a team and how grown up we are now.”

Lipscomb is 16-18 overall. Mississippi State us 26-10.

“We personally feel like we are getting better,” Ryman said. “It didn’t translate into a win but I thought we did some really great things.”

QUICK HITS:

  • Plocheck extended her hitting streak to five games, her longest of the season. In the fourth she had what is easily the longest at bat for a Lady Bison this season as she forced Silkwood into a 3-2 count that included 10 foul balls. She ended the at bat with a foul ball fly to left field.
  • The Lady Bisons returned to their usual lineup after shifting several players the previous four games due to an injury to third baseman Mimi Cartwright.

Ryman returned Cartwright to third base. Paige Neely shifted back to shortstop. Baylee Williams was back at second base. Brianne Welch moved back to right field.

             “I feel like we are improving defensively,” Ryman said. “We thought about resting Mimi one more day. But she was physically ready to go and that was our best option.”

  • Elmore added one more stolen base giving her 31 for the season. She is five short of tying her career season high of 36 set in 2013.

ON DECK:

The Lady Bisons are back in action in the Atlantic Sun this weekend when they travel to Jacksonville. They will play a doubleheader Friday and a single game Sunday.