|April 11, 2015||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||R||H||E|
|Win: YOUNG (11-11)||7.0||5||1||1||2||10|
|Loss: WALLACE (8-10)||5.2||8||6||3||2||5|
|April 11, 2015||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||R||H||E|
|Win: SANDERS (10-10)||7.0||4||1||1||3||8|
|Loss: GOFF (11-9)||6.1||8||2||2||2||3|
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – One of the constant themes for the Lipscomb Lady Bisons softball team this season has been the importance of finishing games.
They finished in a big way Saturday capping an Atlantic Sun doubleheader sweep of North Florida with a 2-1 win on a walk-off home run over the left-center field fence by Gracey Aguirre.
“We have been talking so much about finishing games,” Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman said. “I really felt like our at bats the last two innings drastically improved.
“It can be frustrating when a pitcher is having success against you and you haven’t gotten a whole lot going. We didn’t let that frustration creep in. We kept at it.”
It was the perfect ending to an exciting day for the Lady Bisons who were celebrating 20 years of Lipscomb softball. A number of former players and their families were on hand for the games at Draper Diamond at Smith Stadium Saturday.
“This was a big day for us for a number of reasons,” Ryman said. “To get two from a good UNF team that we believe is going to make the tournament.
“It was the epitome of what you expect out of an A-Sun game. It was a dog fight throughout and a pitcher’s duel to some extent throughout. There are not going to be too many run-away games in the A-Sun.”
Aguirre has made a comeback from a season-ending injury last season. She has fought through some injury issues this year as well, but has refused to give up. Her fourth home run of the season came with one out in the seventh.
“It hasn’t been easy for Gracey,” Ryman said. “She has been battling through pain at times.
“I am really proud of her for not only gutting it out, but continuing to fight for her team. She got a good pitch to handle. She certainly crushed it and got all of it. To win the game on a walk-off home run, especially on a day like this, is very cool.”
Game two was scoreless until the sixth inning when both teams scored a run. North Florida scored on a wild pitch. The Lady Bisons answered with triple to left field by Mimi Cartwright followed by RBI-single by Caitlin Plocheck.
Brittany Elmore, Aguirre and Plocheck each connected for two hits as the Lady Bisons finished with eight off of North Florida’s Kayla Goff.
Tanner Sanders, 10-10, went the route for the Lady Bisons. She scattered four hits, walked three and struck out eight.
“Tanner did a really nice job,” Ryman said. “
The Lady Bisons won game one 6-1.
The Lady Bisons jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second inning. Abby Fenichel doubled to left field to start the inning. She scored on a single to left center by Mimi Cartwright.
Laura Dukes, making her first appearance at the plate since a March 3 injury at UAB, singled to right center to score Cartwright and Caitlin Plocheck.
North Florida answered with a run in the third.
In the sixth the Lady Bisons connected for four hits including a bases loaded single to center with two outs, to add three more runs.
Kelly Young, 11-11, struck out 10 and scattered five hits while walking two.
“We did a really good job in game one,” Ryman said. “It stayed 3-1 for a while and then we got the three runs in the bottom of the sixth. That was huge for us.
“To give Kelly that extra little cushion was awesome. It was a tremendous job by her in game one.”
Neely and Cartwright each collected two hits as the Lady Bisons finished with eight.
“I thought we did a good job of hitting overall,” Ryman said. “We did a really nice job of pulling away.”
- In game two Elmore stole her 36th base of the season, tying her career season high of 36 set in 2013. She is two short of reaching 100 stolen bases for her career.
- Elmore has reached base in her last 21 games, a team high.
She had one hit in game one and two in the second game to extend her hitting streak to 10 games, a team season high.
- Brianne Welch continues to add to her career season high. She also had a stolen base in game two giving her 13 for the season.
- With Sanders win the Lady Bisons become the first team in the conference to have two pitchers in double figures in wins.
- Fenichel was hit by a pitch for the 15th time building on the program record she has already set in this category.
- The Lady Bisons gave recognition to 20 Lipscomb softball legends throughout the afternoon. A dinner was held on the infield following the second game with more than 125 in attendance.
The series closes out Sunday at 1. The Lady Bisons are 21-21, 7-4 in the A-Sun. North Florida falls to 24-23, 6-8 in the conference.
“We won the series, but we want to come out and get the sweep,” Ryman said. “We have positioned ourselves well. Hopefully, we can keep this momentum going.”