CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – A bases-loaded triple to left center by Brittany Elmore sparked the Lipscomb softball team to an 8-6 come-from-behind win over Miami (Ohio) in the closing game of the Frost Classic.
Lipscomb opened the game Sunday afternoon with a four-run first inning. Miami answered in the bottom of the first with five runs. After four runs were scored Lipscomb starter Kelly Young was replaced by Tanner Sanders who finished the game.
Lipscomb has won its last four games and is 8-6. Miami is 5-5.
“I think it shows how much this team is growing,” Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman said. “We have talked so much early in the season about how young this team is. We have some key veterans but we are overall a very young team.
“Our goal is to continue learning and continuing getting better. When you look at where we finished last weekend and where we finished this weekend I can see the growth in just one week. I am really, really proud of this team. I think this team is going to gain a lot out of this win.”
Sanders gave up a run that was credited to Young and shut down Miami until the bottom of the sixth when she gave up one run.
“Kelly is trying to work through some stuff and we continue to believe in her,” Ryman said. “Tanner settled in after the first inning and did a good job.”
Trailing 6-4 in the top of the seventh, Caitlin Plocheck opened with a line single to third base. Sarah Higgins flied out, but Baylee Williams followed with a ground ball double down the left field line. Riley Brown walked to load the bases. Khayla Green grounded out to the pitcher but Plocheck scored to cut the lead to 6-5. Destinee Brewer walked to load the bases again and set the stage for Elmore’s triple.
“It was like, `no, we are going to find a way to win this’,” Ryman said. “If not they were going to go down hacking and they would have to make great defensive plays to shut us down.
“The way we started was huge. But I thought Riley Brown’s walk was a turning point. She battled and battled the count. Brewer did the same thing and her walk was a key as well.”
The Lady Bisons pounded out 11 hits, tying the season high set against Southern Miss. Elmore finished with three hits. Plocheck added two, including a first inning double down the left field line, and two RBI. Higgins and Williams each finished with two hits and one RBI apiece.
In the seventh Sanders struck out the opening batter, but allowed a one-out double. Elmore made a big catch in center field and Sanders struck out the final batter to end the game.
In 6.2 innings Sanders scattered five hits and gave up one run which was unearned. She struck out six and walked two.
“It was a good, old-fashioned battle,” Ryman said. “It wasn’t always the prettiest game throughout, but it was a great way to end the weekend.
“I love the way we started. We came out in attack mode with four runs. But credit Miami. They came right back and put the pressure back on us.”
The Lady Bisons are back in action Wednesday when they play Louisville in a doubleheader in their home opener at Draper Diamond at Smith Stadium at 2 p.m.
“It is a huge confidence builder,” Ryman said. “We want to take this and go back to work on Tuesday and really get after it and get prepared for Wednesday and the weekend.”