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March 13, 2015123456RHE
Win: Lowary (9-0) 5.0521010
Loss: SANDERS (5-6) 4.089840
ELMORE (LIP) 301000
AGUIRRE (LIP) 311000
WELCH (LIP) 211000
Genovese (MU) 402300
Roth (MU) 222010
Mack (MU) 312201
Softball runs out of luck in first day of invitational
Friday, March 13, 2015
By Mark McGee
Softball runs out of luck in first day of invitational

RALEIGH, N.C. – The Lipscomb Lady Bisons faced a pair of top 25 teams in the first day of the Hyatt Place Invitational and were unable to pick up a win.

Despite a solid pitching effort by right-hander Kelly Young the Lady Bisons fell 1-0 to host North Carolina State, the No. 25 team in the nation Friday night. Earlier in the day they lost 10-2 to No. 21-ranked Missouri in six innings at Dail Stadium.

“We don’t want to lose,” Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman said. “This is by far the toughest schedule we have ever played.

“There has been a lot of frustration for the coaches and the team. We want to be playing our best softball in April and May. Right now, we are learning a lot of hard lessons. Our batting averages aren’t as high as we want them to be. Our ERAs aren’t as low as we want them to be. But that is part of the process.”

In the nightcap Young and the Wolfpack’s Emily Weiman engaged in a pitching duel.

Ryman wishes every Purple and Gold fan could have seen the game regardless of the outcome.

“This is one of the games I wish everyone could have been here to see,” Ryman said. “The heart, the energy and the excitement were there. The dugout was in on every single pitch.

“Our defense was making plays. Offensively, we struggled, but even with the lack of hitting we still took a lot of steps forward. That is what we are focusing on now.”

Young, 4-6, gave up six hits and struck out 10 batters while walking three in 7.2 innings.

In the fourth and fifth innings Young escaped unscathed leaving the bases loaded each time. In the third and sixth innings Young got out of the innings leaving two runners on base.

“Kelly threw a phenomenal game,” Ryman said. “Our defense played so well behind her for seven innings.

“We are so proud of Kelly. It showed us what she is capable of. She is working hard for us. So many of the things we have been working on finally clicked. It gave the team so much confidence.”

Weiman, 8-5, recorded 18 strikeouts and walked one batter. She held the Lady Bisons to two hits – singles by Paige Neely and Abby Fenichel.

The game was decided based on international rules with a runner being placed on second base in the eighth inning. The Lady Bisons failed to score.

With two outs in the bottom of the eighth Morgan Tharrington was safe on an error by first baseman Caitlin Plocheck. Maggie Hawkins, who had been placed on second to start the inning, scored on the play.

“It was a high pop up in the infield,” Ryman said. “It was weird one kind of in no-man’s land. There was miscommunication with two young players involved in the play.

“Plocheck came in for it. Abby came out from behind the plate to try to catch it. They both kind of bumped into each other at the last minute. It hit in Plocheck’s glove and bounced out. North Carolina State had a runner on third so it was game over.”

The Lady Bisons are 9-12. North Carolina State is 12-8.

In the Missouri game the Lady Bisons struck first but could not build any momentum.

Plocheck drove in Gracey Aguirre with a single to center in the second for the first run of the game.

Missouri answered in the bottom of the second with a two-run homer by Kirsten Mack to left field. The Tigers went for the fences again in the third as Sami Fagan connected for a home run to right center,

The Tigers, 17-3, broke open the game in the fourth with four runs on a pair of bases loaded walks and two-RBI single.

In the fifth the Lady Bisons added another run as Brittany Elmore singled to left field and advanced to second on an error. Brianne Welch scored on the play to cut the lead to 8-2.

An RBI-single and the bottom of the fifth gave Missouri a 9-2 lead. Another RBI single in the sixth sealed the win due to the run rule lead.

Tanner Sanders, 5-6, started for the Lady Bisons. She scattered eight hits and allowed nine runs, eight earned. She walked four, hit one and did not strike out a batter.

McCarley Thomas relieved Sanders in the sixth with no outs, one run in and a runner on base. Thomas retired the side one-two-three. In one inning, including three batters in the sixth, she gave up one hit and one run. She walked two and struck out one.

Quick Hits:

  • Elmore’s stolen base efforts remain perfect. She stole her 16th base of the season. She has not been thrown out this season.


  • Thomas made her third appearance of the season and picked up her second strikeout.
  • This is the second time this season the Lady Bisons have played on Friday the 13th. 

On Deck:

The Lady Bisons get an early wake-up call in day two playing Longwood at 8 a.m. Saturday. They close out the day at 7:15 against Binghamton. The Lady Bisons will be the home team in both games.