MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. – It more than smelled like victory in the morning for the Lipscomb Lady Bisons softball team.
It felt like a win as well.
A fifth inning, two-RBI triple to left-center field by Kasey Gibson sparked Lipscomb to a 4-1 softball win over Monmouth.
“Kasey had the big hit,” Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman said. “The outfield was pulled in. She got one over their heads.
“She is seeing the ball well. She has been having quality at bats so far this year. That was certainly a big one for her.”
The victory Friday morning was the first game of the Wyndham Garden Cougar Classic hosted by the College of Charleston at Patriots Point. The Lady Bisons, 3-3, are back in action at approximately 1:30 p.m. against Illinois-Chicago.
It was the season opener for Monmouth.
“I thought we started a little sluggish,” Ryman said. “Their pitcher was doing a nice job against us. It took us awhile to kind of get going.”
Right-hander McCarley Thomas, 1-2, picked up her first win of the season. After spotting Monmouth a run in the bottom of the first she pitched six shutout innings.
“McCarley wasn’t pressing,” Ryman said. “She was just going at them.
“That was the thing that really stuck out to me. She stayed the course and did a nice job of keeping us in the game early until our offense started to come around.”
In the fifth Mimi Cartwright singled to left with one out and Jenna Pealor was hit by a pitch setting the stage for the big hit by Gibson.
“Mimi gave us some offense when we needed it,” Ryman said. “She didn’t have a hit last weekend. It was good to see her give us a spark. It was a really great job by her.”
Khayla Green, pinch-hitting for Destinee Brewer, grounded out to second to score Gibson from third.
In the seventh the Lady Bisons added an insurance run. With two outs Gibson walked and stole second. Destinee Brewer singled to the shortstop to score Gibson.
Thomas scattered five hits, two for extra bases. She struck out seven and did not walk a batter.
Amanda Riley went the distance for Monmouth. She gave up six hits, three for extra bases. She struck out 11, walked two and hit a batter. All four runs she allowed were earned.
“We struggled offensively but we had hits in key moments,” Ryman said. “We are not an unknown. We are going to the other team’s best pitcher.
“It was an ugly offensive day to start the tournament. But again we had clutch hits and found a way to win late.”
- The seven strikeouts were a career game high and career season high for Thomas.
- Cartwright’s two hits were her first of the season.
- Brewer and Gibson each stole one base.
- Caitlin Plocheck has hit four doubles in six games.
- This was the first meeting between Lipscomb and Monmouth in softball.