NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Lessons are usually most often learned in difficult situations.
The Lipscomb softball team took that approach Sunday afternoon after losing 14-2 to Ball State in the final game of the Music City Classic at Draper Diamond at Smith Stadium. The game ended after six innings due to the run rule.
“It is easy to walk away from a game like this and feel really down, sorry for yourself and be frustrated and annoyed,” Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman said. “Or you can just say, oh well, let’s move on.
“We would like to see a happy medium. We don’t want them to dwell on it forever. But we do want to think about what we didn’t do well and did we handle things within our control. We need to take a moment to think about those things individually and as a team before we move on to understand that even though we had a great weekend overall we will have a lot of work to do.”
It was one of those games where the Lady Bisons just could not get on track. They made two errors in the first inning followed by single to score a run for Ball State. Another single followed to load the bases and set up a grand slam to left center by Ball State’s Sammi Cowger.
The Lady Bisons struck back in the first as Brittany Elmore tripled down the left field line. She scored on a ground out by Mimi Cartwright.
“One of our players brought up after the game how important the first inning is,” Ryman said. “They know that. We have to have a better start.
“We made some mistakes early on. We have made some of those same mistakes already this weekend, but we were able to stop it and keep it from becoming a big deal. There is a lot for us to learn from this.”
Ball State struck back with two runs in the second and one in the third. They added six in the six.
The Lady Bisons would add one more run in the fifth. Elmore singled up the middle with one out and stole second. Paige Neely followed with a single up the middle to score Elmore.
Kelly Young fired a no-hitter Saturday night, but gave up 11 hits and 13 runs, seven earned, in 5.2 innings. She struck out three and walked two.
“Kelly is a tough kid,” Ryman said. “She has a great mentality. She is easily going to work back from this.”
Elmore and Baylee Williams each had two hits for the Lady Bisons.
Lipscomb is 3-1. Ball State is 3-1.
Plocheck on the mound: Freshman Caitlin Plocheck moved from first base to the circle with two outs in the sixth inning. She faced four batters and allowed two hits and one earned run. She walked one and struck out one.
“We had given Caitlin a heads up that she might pitch,” Ryman said. “She is going to be someone in the future who will be a different enough look that she will do some good things in the future for us.
“It wasn’t the best situation to come into. She was just trying to throw strikes and get us out of the inning.”
Extra bases extravaganza: In the four games this weekend the Lady Bisons combined for seven home runs, one triple and seven doubles.
Elmore’s triple was her first extra-base hit of the season.
Need for speed: Elmore stole one base against Ball State. She is four-for-four in four games.
Next up: The Lady Bisons will spend the Valentine’s weekend in Mobile, Alabama in the Mardi Gras Classic March 13-15. The tournament hosted by South Alabama also features Butler, Oklahoma State and Evansville.