MOBILE, Ala. –The Lipscomb softball team came out swinging and connecting against Butler, but itcould not sustain the momentum in an 11-6 loss in its final game of the Mardi Gras Invitational Sunday morning.
The Lady Bisons scored two runs in the first inning sparked by a double to left field from Paige Neely and a single to center field by Gracey Aguirre.
“I thought we started the game well,” Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman said. “We did some really good things in the first inning. We scored right off of the bat.
“We did some things we had been talking about lately…coming out sharp and making a statement early. I thought we did that, but then we got into the bottom half of the second and they got a couple of hits and we made some crucial mistakes.”
Butler answered with eight runs in the second.
“Defensively we fell apart in the second inning,” Ryman said. “That changed the whole game. It seemed like one mistake led to another. We had a hard time turning the corner after that.
“Mixed in with the actual errors were mental errors. And that didn’t help things either. It was really frustrating.”
In the third the Lady Bisons added two more runs as Abby Fenichel led off with a home run to left field, but Butler answered with three more.
The Lady Bisons added another run in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Gracey Aguirre to center field that scored Brittany Elmore.
Fenichel pounded a double to right center with one out in the seventh. After advancing to third on passed ball she scored on a sacrifice fly to left center by Laura Dukes.
Tanner Sanders, 3-2, started for the Lady Bisons and gave up eight runs and seven hits in 1.2 innings. Four of the runs were earned. She walked three and did not record a strikeout.
Kelly Young came on in relief and closed out the game. In 4.1 innings she allowed six hits and three runs, all earned. She struck out seven and did not walk a batter.
“Kelly had a good weekend overall,” Ryman said. “She gave up a couple of big hits, but she kept us in games. I thought her movement and consistency was a lot better this weekend than last weekend.”
The Lady Bisons finished the tournament 2-3 and are 5-4 for the season. Butler is 4-5 overall.
“We are playing a tough schedule for a reason,” Ryman said. “We have to be able to learn from these mistakes. We have to be better for it a month from now.
“We have to play a complete game. That is what we are lacking right now. It is part of the process and the growing pains. We have to hold ourselves to the standards we set before the season started.
- Fenichel is making her presence known as a freshman. She leads the team in home runs with four and RBI with nine and is second in hitting at .429. She led the Lady Bisons in hitting against Butler with three, the only player with multiple hits.
- Elmore and Dukes were named to the all-tournament team.
- Freshman Riley Brown made her first appearance of the season in the fifth inning as a pinch-hitter for Caitlin Plocheck. She flied out to right field.
- Becca Dean played in her second game in a row in the field in the third inning in the field in the third inning replacing Brianne Welch in left field.
- Baylee Williams ended the longest hitting streak on the team at six after not getting a hit against Butler. She was hit by a pitch and walked extending her streak of games reaching base to a team-leading eight.
- Neely has a team-leading eight in nine games this season.
The Lady Bisons return to Alabama Friday through Sunday as they play in the Easton ‘Bama Bash hosted by the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
They will play James Madison and Michigan on Friday followed by rematches with both teams on Saturday. They will close out the tournament Sunday when they face host Alabama.