|April 25, 2015||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||R||H||E|
|Win: YOUNG (13-13)||7.0||3||0||0||3||10|
|Loss: VIERS (8-4)||6.0||4||1||1||2||2|
|April 25, 2015||1||2||3||4||5||R||H||E|
|Win: SANDERS (12-10)||5.0||3||1||1||0||4|
|Loss: MATHEWS (12-5)||1.2||7||7||7||1||0|
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It is fitting this is “Senior” weekend for the Lipscomb Lady Bisons softball team.
In the past three weeks the five seniors have stepped up their leadership roles and the results of their efforts are showing.
The Lady Bisons pounded out 13 hits, including one home run, two triples and one double on the way to a 13-1 win over Kennesaw State Saturday night at Draper Diamond at Smith Stadium. The Lady Bisons swept the crucial Atlantic Sun doubleheader with a 1-0 shutout in game one.
Game two ended in the fifth inning due to the run-rule lead. The first win by the Lady Bisons ended an 11-game A-Sun win streak for Kennesaw State.
The third and final game of the series is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday. In pregame ceremonies at approximately 1:45 five Lady Bisons seniors – Jordan Abell, Gracey Aguirre, Laura Dukes, Paige Neely and Brianne Welch will be honored along with their families.
“When we sat down with them three weeks ago after the Jacksonville series we said, `look, something has got to change’,” Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman said. “We challenged them and they have done nothing but step up to the plate and find ways to get done what they know needed to get done for this team to turn it around.
“I am so proud of the seniors right now, not just because it is senior weekend, but for what they have done the last three weeks leading by example and holding people accountable. They have been leading by example in practice and in games. They are doing a tremendous job and it is making all of the difference in the world for our team right now.”
The Lady Bisons are 25-23 overall, 10-6 in the A-Sun. Kennesaw State is 31-16, 12-7 in the conference.
The first win of the night earned the Lady Bisons a berth in the A-Sun Tournament.
“Step No. 1 for this weekend was to win at least one and clinch a tournament berth,” Ryman said. “We knew we were capable of that but we had to go out and do it.
“I think it was huge for us to step up and clinch in the first game. At this point we still have a lot more to play for. We are turning our focus to not being satisfied. We want to see how high a seed we can get. We need something to keep fighting for.”
Aguirre drove in four runs in game two with her second home run of the evening, a two-run shot just fair down the left field line, and a two-run triple down the left field line in the second.
Welch added a two-RBI triple to right field in the second.
Five hitters- Brittany Elmore, Neely, Mimi Cartwright, Aguirre and Baylee Williams – connected for two hits each. Cartwright pounded a double to right center in the first inning.
“We saw more of the offensive group that we are capable of being,” Ryman said. “We were swinging the bat well. We were attacking good pitches. We stayed disciplined in the zone.”
Tanner Sanders, 12-10, allowed only three hits. She struck out four and did not walk a batter.
Aguirre accounted for the only run in the game with a solo home run with two outs in the fourth over the left center field fence.
It was one of four hits for the Lady Bisons. Elmore, Neely and Caitlin Plocheck each added singles.
“You have to credit Kennesaw State’s defense,” Ryman said. “They had some great reads on some balls. Their outfielders covered a lot of ground. I really felt like we should have had more than four hits in the first game.”
“The whole game through, even after Gracey hit the home run, it looked like it could go either way. They had some moments, even late in the game, where they had runners on and the chance to do something.”
Kelly Young, 13-13, went the distance for the Lady Bisons. She struck out 10 and walked three.
Logan Viers, 8-4, took the loss for Kennesaw State. She struck out two and walked two.
“Our players are feeding off of each other right now,” Ryman said. “It is exciting for us to see right now.”
Hey Mom: Aguirre’s mother, Erica Garcia, was in the stands for the doubleheader for a rare opportunity to see her daughter play in person. The trip from Houston was worth it as Aguirre finished with three hits, all for extra bases, five RBI and three runs scored.
Give us five: This was the seventh time this season the Lady Bisons have won a game in five innings under the run rule. They also have one win in six innings.
They have lost three times in five inning games, including one game canceled early due to weather conditions. They have lost one six-inning game.
Overall in games called after five innings they are 7-3. They are 1-1 in games called after six innings.
Riding the streaks: Elmore extended her hitting streak to 16 games, the longest on the team this season. Neely has hits in six straight games.
Elmore has reached base in the last 27 games, a team high. Neely has found a way to get on base in the last 14 games, a personal season high.