Softball sweeps doubleheader to extend win streak to seven games
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
By Mark McGee
Softball sweeps doubleheader to extend win streak to seven games
Photo by Erin Turner

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb Lady Bisons used a Rubik’s Cube strategy to sweep a doubleheader from Western Kentucky.

No matter what kind of problem they faced, especially in the nightcap, the Lady Bisons found a way to solve it on the way to a 4-2 win. In game one Lipscomb hung on for a 4-1 victory.

“It was not always the way we would have liked to see that game played out,” Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman said. “But this team just keeps finding ways to win.

“It was another quality outing by our team. In game one there wasn’t a lot of doubt. In game two we had to fight our way back. We can win in a lot of different ways and that is a trademark of our team.”

The Lady Bisons extended their winning streak to seven games. Lipscomb is 23-7. Western Kentucky, from Conference USA, falls to 18-15.

In game two Western Kentucky scored one run in the second inning and another in the third.

The Lady Bisons struck for four runs in the fifth inning to seal the victory. With one out Kasey Gibson reached base on a bunt single. Abby Fenichel followed with a single to left field. With two outs Sarah Higgins reached base on an error by the center fielder which allowed Gibson to score.

Hannah DeVault doubled to center field to bring home Higgins and Fenichel. Chloe Yeager doubled to right center to drive DeVault across the plate.

“Kasey laid down the bunt and it was a spark for us,” Ryman said. “Abby comes up and gets the bloop single and they make a pitching change.

“We did a nice job of adjusting very quickly to a new pitcher. Hannah commented she was glad to see more speed. Hannah hit the ball well all night.”

McCarley Thomas, 7-4, went the distance for Lipscomb. She allowed six hits and only one of the runs she gave up was earned. She struck out six and walked three.

“McCarley struggled a lot of times,” Ryman said. “The positive thing about that was she was able to work through it and go the full seven and still find a way to win. She only gave up two runs and gave us a chance to win.

“I am proud of her. She did not give in mentally. She kept attacking hitters which is not easy to do when you struggle early.”

Kathryn Downing started for Western Kentucky. In 4.2 innings she gave up three hits and two unearned runs. She walked four and struck out two.

Haylee Towers, 2-1, took the loss, In 1.1 innings she also scattered three hits. Both of the runs she allowed were also unearned. She walked two batters and did not record a strike out.

 “Overall, I thought we had a good game plan coming into game two,” Ryman said.  “We weren’t getting a lot of hits, but we were hitting the ball solidly right at people early in the game.

“We got away from our game plan for whatever reason, but we came back. We talked a lot about quality at bats and not worrying about whether you were getting a hit every time you batted.”

Scorebook notes:

  • Fenichel led Lipscomb with two hits in game two and tied for the game lead.
  • DeVault has five multiple-RBI games and is tied with Peyton Ward and Kasey Gibson for the team lead.
  • Destinee Brewer extended her hitting streak to eight games. She has the longest current streak on the team. Brewer has reached base in her last eight games.
  • DeVault has at least one hit in the last seven games. DeVault has reached base in the last 10 games, the longest streak on the team.

Next up: The Lady Bisons open the ASUN Conference portion of the season this weekend at USC Upstate in Spartanburg, South Carolina. A doubleheader is scheduled for Saturday beginning at noon. The three-game series ends Sunday with a single game at noon.