Lipscomb splits softball doubleheader with Louisville
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
By Mark McGee
Lipscomb splits softball doubleheader with Louisville

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The home opener was good and not so good for the Lipscomb softball team.

Wednesday afternoon at Draper Diamond at Smith Stadium the Lady Bisons split a doubleheader with Louisville from the Atlantic Coast Conference, winning the first game 2-1 and losing the nightcap 7-1.

Lipscomb finished the day 9-7, stopping a five-game winning streak. Louisville is 11-5.

Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman stresses her team is looking for consistency, especially on offense.

“We did a better job of getting runners on against two quality pitchers,” Ryman said. “But once we get them on we can’t just leave them out there. We have to find a way to advance them.

“We did a decent job of advancing them, but we just couldn’t get anybody in. We have to string some hits together. We are struggling with runners in scoring position. We have to go to the plate and not over think. We have to be confident.”

In game one the Lady Bisons connected for seven hits, but left six runners on base. In game two they were limited to four hits and stranded nine runners.

“We are getting runners on, but we are not getting the key hits to drive them in,” Ryman said. “We saw it in the second half of game one and we saw it in the second game. Nine runners left on base in a seven-inning game is high.”

“We are having too many strikeouts with runners in scoring position. We are having quality at bats with nobody on. Now we need to start having them with runners in scoring position and drive them in. “

Tanner Sanders, 5-3, won game one for the Lady Bisons. She allowed four hits, two doubles and two singles, and struck out six. She did not walk a batter.

“Tanner did what we needed her to do,” Ryman said. “She is really attacking hitters. She didn’t have a walk.

“When she keeps hitters off base and doesn’t give up any freebies it makes such a difference for us. We want to continue seeing her in attack mode.”

Freshman Mandy Jordan, 2-2, started in the circle in game two. She pitched 4.2 innings, scattering seven hits and giving up four runs, three earned. She struck out five and walked two.

“Mandy is one of those with very high standards,” Ryman said. “She is still learning. I think she is going to pull some confidence from this game, but at the same time she would have wanted to throw a complete game and get the win. She is going to expect more.”

Kelly Young came on in relief and gave up three hits and three runs, all earned. She struck out four and walked three in 2.1 innings.

Ryman would have preferred a sweep, but the split in the first home games of the season, was still a plus.

“The girls love playing here,” Ryman said. “We have been gone for three weeks. It was fun to have them back on the field.

“They loved being back here and playing against a good team. We are not necessarily clicking on all cylinders, but we are doing enough to win. We have to continue to give ourselves opportunities to win. This team continues to grow and learn.”

Base hits:

  • Sarah Higgins hit a home run to left field in the second for only run for the Lady Bisons in game two. She leads the team with four home runs and 10 extra-base hits.
  • Brittany Elmore and Higgins each had two hits in game one. They are tied for the team lead in multiple hit games with five.
  • Elmore had two stolen bases in game one and one in game two for a team-leading 11 for the season. Khayla Green finished with a season game-high three stolen bases in game two and is 8-for-8 for the season.

         Destinee Brewer added one stolen base in game one and is 4-for-4.

  • This was the first time Louisville and Lipscomb had played softball.

Next up: The Lady Bisons close out the preconference tournament season on their home field Friday. Saturday and Sunday with the Purple and Gold Challenge. Lipscomb will meet Furman Friday at 5:30 p.m.

The Lady Bisons will face Troy at 12:30 and Youngstown State at 3 p.m. Saturday.

They close out the weekend Sunday against Indiana State at 2:30.