MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Neither chilling cold, persistent rain or a pair of delays that lasted more than an hour could keep the Lipscomb Lady Bisons from prevailing 6-2 against Memphis.
Prior to the start of the fourth inning Saturday night there was a 37-minute rain delay. The Lady Bisons came out of that lull to score five runs. Before the start of the seventh inning the tarp was placed on the field at the Memphis Softball Complex for a second time. That delay lasted 36 minutes before the final inning could be played.
“It was freezing cold,” Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman said. “There was the damp moisture in the air. The rain coming down made the cold even colder. Breaks can suck the life out of either team.”
Lipscomb is 17-7. Memphis, the host of the University of Memphis Tournament, slipped to 11-9.
Saturday’s game against Buffalo was canceled. The Lady Bisons will play Oakland at 9:30 Sunday, a time change due to the weather conditions.
“We are going to head to the field and warm up,” Ryman said. “Temperature-wise it is going to be borderline. If it is going to be above 30 by 10:15 we will probably go ahead and get started.”
With one out in the fourth inning Hannah DeVault blasted a solo home run to left center with one out.
But the Lady Bisons weren’t through. Chloe Yeager singled to right field and Khayla Green singled to shortstop. Peyton Ward walked to load the bases.
Green scored on a fielder’s choice. Abby Fenichel drove in Destinee Brewer and Ward on a single down the right field line.
Kasey Gibson, who reached base on a fielder’s choice, scored on a wild pitch.
“I thought we did a really good job as a team during the breaks of staying loose physically by dancing some,” Ryman said. “Mentally, they weren’t just sitting acting miserable in the dugout and watching it rain and asking, `why are we here?’
“They were enjoying themselves. That was a huge key for us.”
The Lady Bisons pounded four hits in the fourth and used a walk and a wild pitch as well.
“We came out of it and Hannah gets the home run,” Ryman said. “That just ignited us and the next thing you know we are hitting the ball all over the place and creating opportunities.
“We put ourselves in a position to have a big inning. It shifted the momentum our way.”
In the sixth Ward, who had reached base on a single to second, eventually scored on a throwing error by the catcher.
Memphis scored one run in both the fifth and sixth innings.
Mandy Jordan, 11-3, went the distance for the Lady Bisons. She allowed four hits and two runs. Neither of the runs was earned. She walked two and struck out eight.
“It is not as extreme as in baseball, but it is still tough for a softball pitcher dealing with the mental side of it when you are having a break and having to warm up again,” Ryman said. “The good thing for her was the breaks were semi-long, but not long enough that she got completely cold. We had some heating pads in the dugout to help keep her warm.
“I thought she managed it well. She made sure she was doing what she needed to do during those breaks to be ready to go again. She pitched a very gritty game. She is going to fight for her team.”
Memphis used a pair of pitchers. Katie Brignac, 4-1, lasted 3.2 innings for her first loss of the season. She gave up seven hits and five runs, all earned. She walked one and struck out three.
Molly Smith closed out the final 3.1 innings. She gave up one hit and one run. She walked one and struck out four.
- It was the first two-hit game of the season for Yeager.
- Fenichel recorded her third multiple-RBI game.
- Fenichel has reached based in 14 straight games.
- Both Fenichel and Brewer stole bases.
- DeVault has hit three home runs, second highest on the team.
Next up: Lipscomb travels to UAB Wednesday for a 4 p.m. game.