February 21, 2015123456RHE
Lipscomb000000020
James Madison10200X331
PitchingIPHRERBBSO
Win: Ford (2-1) 5.120036
Loss: SANDERS (3-4) 5.033323
BattingABRHRBIBBHR
AGUIRRE (LIP) 301000
WELCH (LIP) 101010
Field (JMU) 312301
Lightning strikes to end potential softball rally
Saturday, February 21, 2015
By Mark McGee
Lightning strikes to end potential softball rally

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Lipscomb Lady Bisons softball team battled both James Madison University and the weather and had no luck with either one.

“It is frustrating,” Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman said. “We have been talking about digging deeper and giving a little bit more.

“We knew this was going to be a challenging weekend and we have been challenging them to get better with every game. The best thing we can do is to be better tomorrow. We will come back Sunday and fight some more.”

The Purple and Gold’s game with JMU in the Easton Bama Bash was called in the top of the sixth due to lightning in the area and more threatening weather on the way. Both teams had agreed before the start of the game that in case of severe weather issues the game would be called at that point and would not be delayed.

It was a tough luck situation for the Lady Bisons. They had the bases loaded with one out in the top of the sixth. With the game being called JMU won 3-0 Saturday night.

“We have been talking about this weekend about fighting harder,” Ryman said. “When you get punched in the mouth we have to be able to turn around and punch back.

“We were playing a really great James Madison team. We fell apart against them Friday, but we turned around and we were playing well against them. We were in the game and started getting a little momentum.”

Since at least five innings were played it is an official game.

“I felt like we were fighting against JMU and giving ourselves opportunities,” Ryman said. “The lightning was one of those uncontrollable things but the timing of it certainly was not good. That is just part of it.”

Gracey Aguirre had singled up the middle in the sixth. Abby Fenichel walked and was replaced by Kasey Gibson as a pinch runner.

Laura Dukes was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Dee Baddley had entered the game for Dukes as a pinch runner when the lightning started striking close to Rhoads Stadium.

Tanner Sanders, 3-4, started in the circle for the Lady Bisons. She gave up three hits and three runs, all earned. She struck out three and walked two.

Aguirre and Brianne Welch connected for the only two hits for the Lady Bisons. Both were singles.

JMU opened with one run in the first inning and added two more in the third on a home run down the left field line by Erica Field.

The Lady Bisons are 0-4 in the tournament.

“We have to keep learning,” Ryman said. “We all feel the losses, but it is not about that.

“We have talked since fall about finding the next level, the next gear and taking it up a notch. We have talked a lot about playing at the next level as a team. Right now it is about figuring those things out. We have to continue to learn and continue to grow.”

 

QUICK HITS:

  • Freshman Riley Brown made her first start against JMU as the designated player. 

“We have seen so many improvements in her game,” Ryman said. “Her swing is completely different than when she first came in. She is still a work in progress but she goes to work every day in practice. 

“I love how coachable Riley is. She is getting better.” 

  • Brianne Welch had three hits in the two games Saturday against Michigan and JMU.

“Brianne is a fighter,” Ryman said. “She is going to go out and compete. She finds way to compete. That is what we are trying to pull out of everybody right now.

“She is finding ways to put the ball in play. That is something we have been working with her. She has cut down on her swings and misses.”

 

NEXT UP:

The Lady Bisons, 5-8, close out the tournament Sunday at 1:30 when they face No. 3-ranked Alabama, the tournament host. JMU is 5-3.