JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Hitting is contagious and the Lipscomb softball players caused an epidemic.
Sunday afternoon they scored 12 runs on seven hits in the top of the seventh in a 16-0 Atlantic Sun win over North Florida at the UNF Softball Complex. With the win the Lady Bisons prevented being swept in the first of three A-Sun road series to close out the season.
The 12 runs are the most scored by Lipscomb in one inning in the NCAA Division I level.
“Everyone was relaxed in the seventh,” Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman said. “It was fun. The girls were really honed in and attacking good pitches. We had some extra base hits that helped us explode it a little bit more.”
The big hits in the seventh were a two-RBI home run to left center by Caitlin Plocheck and a three-RBI double to right center by Abby Fenichel. Baylee Williams hit a double to left center to bring home a run.
Dee Baddley drove in two runs with a single to right field.
The Lady Bisons put three runs on the scoreboard in the third inning with Fenichel driving in two runs with a double to right center. Kasey Gibson had tripled to left field with two outs and scored on a single by Brittany Elmore for the first run of the game.
In the fifth, Lipscomb added a run when Elmore tripled to right center and scored on a throwing error by UNF’s Navia Penrod.
Kelly Young, 11-6, scattered three hits for the shutout. She struck out nine and walked two.
“Kelly did a tremendous job the entire game,” Ryman said. “When your pitcher has a good start that sets the tone.
“Offensively, we were able to score a few early in the game. We weren’t doing a whole lot, but we were getting a few things going. Kelly just continued to battle. It was a tremendous outing for her.”
North Florida used four pitchers in the seventh, including twice bringing in starter Logan Green. Green, 8-11, gave up 10 hits and 10 runs, nine earned, in 6.1 innings. The four pitchers combined to give up 14 hits and 14 earned runs.
Elmore and Williams led Lipscomb with three hits each. Destinee Brewer and Fenichel had two hits apiece.
Fenichel drove in five runs. Brewer, Plocheck and Baddley each drove in two runs.
Lipscomb slammed six extra-base hits with three doubles, two triples and a home run.
Lipscomb is 21-20, 6-6 in the A-Sun. North Florida falls to 17-21, 5-4 in the conference.
“We are still trying to figure things out,” Ryman said. “The message at the end of Saturday was we got out-fought by UNF. When a team comes out and pushes you to the limit you have to find a way to be better and we didn’t do that.
“We have to find a level of consistency in our approach. We keep talking about every game matters. I think this weekend opened our players’ eyes. It is not just a statement being made by the coaches. It is a reality.”
- Lipscomb set season highs for runs scored (16) and runs batted in (14). They scored 12 runs against Indiana State March 6. The previous high for RBI this season was 10 against Indiana State.
- For the second game in a row the Lady Bisons finished with 14 hits against UNF, tying their season-high set against Indiana State March 6.
“We had 14 hits and lost 6-5 in game two Saturday but all of those hits were singles,” Ryman said. “We had some extra base hits mixed in this time and that made the difference.”
- The all-time high for both runs and hits was set against Northern Kentucky in a 25-7 win March 29, 2015. The Lady Bisons connected for 25 hits in the game.
- This was the most runs scored in a game for Lipscomb since a 13-1 win over Tennessee State March 18, 2015.
- The three doubles tie the season high. It is the fifth time this season the Lady Bisons have hit three doubles in a game.
- The two triples are a season high. The Lady Bisons hit one triple in a game six times this season.
- Elmore set a new season high for runs scored in a game with four.
- Gibson’s triple was the first of her career.
- The five RBI by Fenichel are a team and individual season high. It is also a career high for Fenichel for one game.
- The two doubles by Fenichel are also a team and individual season game high.
- Elmore leads the team with 13 multiple-hit games. Fenichel and Brewer are tied for third on the team with 11.
- Fenichel is second on the team in multiple RBI games with eight. Plocheck is third with seven.
- Elmore extended her hitting streak to 11 games, her longest of the season and the longest current streak on the team.
- Williams has hits in her last seven games in a row.
- Fenichel started at third for the second straight game. Malorie Giere started for the second time at catcher. Third baseman Sarah Higgins made two pinch-hit appearances as she was given some rest.
Next up: The Lady Bisons do not have a mid-week game scheduled. They return to the field April 16 and 17 when they travel to DeLand, Florida to face Stetson in a crucial A-Sun series. The two teams will play a doubleheader on the 16th and a single game on the 17th.