March 05, 20171234567RHE
Eastern Illinois0000000050
Win: THOMAS (5-3) 5.150007
Loss: WIREMAN (3-5) 4.274432
MONAHAN (EIU) 301000
DAVIS (EIU) 301000
TOENYES (EIU) 301000
DEVITO (EIU) 301000
WARD (LIP) 312200
Softball dominates Purple and Gold Challenge
Sunday, March 5, 2017
By Mark McGee
Softball dominates Purple and Gold Challenge

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb Lady Bisons softball team not only won their Purple and Gold Challenge, they dominated.

Sunday afternoon at Draper Diamond at Smith Stadium the Lady Bisons, 15-5, beat Eastern Illinois 4-0. It was the third shutout in four games over the weekend for Lipscomb. Friday they blanked Eastern Illinois 8-0 in five innings. Saturday they shut down Valparaiso 7-0 and beat Stony Brook 7-1.

“I think we are playing well right now,” Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman said. “I think we are hitting the ball well. Our defense is doing a good job.”

It was the sixth straight win for Lipscomb. Eastern Illinois, 2-2, in the Challenge, fell to 8-7 for the season.

McCarley Thomas, 5-3, started against Eastern Illinois and gave up five hits in 5.1 innings. She struck out seven and did not walk a batter.

Jordan entered the game in the sixth inning with bases loaded and one out. She got the next two batters to strike out to end the inning. In the seventh she struck out two more before ending the game on a ground ball to Peyton Ward to pick up the save.

“I think Mandy and McCarley are doing a good job,” Ryman said. “Even when they weren’t at their sharpest points this weekend they were still winning and were still getting outs. The hits they are given up are scattered.”

Lipscomb scored one run in the first on an RBI-single to right field by Sarah Higgins. The Lady Bisons added two in the second as Kasey Gibson singled up the middle to drive in a run and Ward hit a sacrifice fly to left field. In the fourth Ward would bring home another run on a single to left field.

“Peyton Ward gets that hit with two outs and that was huge,” Ryman said. “As I have said each game someone different seems to be coming through at key times for us.

“Sarah had a good weekend overall. She is definitely seeing the ball better and doing more of what we know she can do.”

Jessica Wireman, 3-5, started for the Panthers and pitched 4.2 innings. She scattered seven hits and gave up four runs, all earned. She struck out two and walked three.

Tori Johnson threw the final 1.1 innings. She walked one and struck out one and did not give up a hit.

“We are good top to bottom and we are going to rely on everybody,” Ryman said. “We are playing with a lot of confidence. If we can keep our foot on the gas we are going to be able to do some really good things.

“Even though we are hitting well I can see little things we could be better at and we will be working on those. Our team is hungry. Our players are motivated to want to be better.”

Scorebook notes:

  • Fenichel and Gibson extended their team-leading current hitting streaks to nine games.
  • Ward and Fenichel each finished with two hits. Ward hit a double to left field with one out in the first and scored on the single by Higgins.
  • With two RBI Ward is tied with Gibson for the team lead in multiple-RBI games. They each have four.
  • Higgins has reached base in a team-high 12 straight games. Fenichel has been on base in her last 10 games and Gibson has reached base in nine games straight.

Up next: The Lady Bisons are taking Monday off from practice, but will be back on the field Tuesday to prepare for a visit from Campbell Wednesday afternoon at 3.