March 25, 201712345678RHE
USC Upstate00000013470
Win: MCKINNON (14-3) 8.0511210
Loss: JORDAN (15-4) 7.274417
BREWER (LIP) 302000
March 25, 20171234567RHE
USC Upstate000040X483
Win: SHUBERT (12-3) 6.061123
Loss: THOMAS (7-5) 6.084316
HIGGINS (LIP) 402000
YEAGER (LIP) 402000
Disappointing day for softball as ASUN opens
Saturday, March 25, 2017
By Mark McGee
Disappointing day for softball  as ASUN opens
Photo by Erin Turner

SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Sunday is an important day for a variety of reasons.

For college softball teams the day is especially crucial in a three-game series. Saturday the Lipscomb Lady Bisons lost 4-1 in eight innings in game one and 4-1 in game two to USC Upstate at Cyrill Stadium.

The final game of the opening ASUN Conference series for both teams is Sunday at noon.

“We have been on the flipside of this where we have swept on day one and then had to come out on day two and be extra-determined to get the sweep,” Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman said. “It is a little bit of a change for us. Now we have to come out and be just as determined to make sure we are still competing and still confident.

“We have to learn from Saturday and make adjustments. We are going to watch film and challenge the girls to find little ways where we can get better.”

Lipscomb is 23-9, 0-2 in the conference. Upstate is 27-6, 2-0. The two teams entered the weekend with the top overall records in the ASUN.

“They were both very competitive games,” Ryman said. “Neither one of them was decided until late in the game.

“We gave ourselves a chance to win which is what we want to do. We just didn’t get the timely hits. And in the second game we had some breakdowns in the fifth defensively. We did things you can’t do against good teams.”

In game two Lipscomb scored in the top of the fifth. Caitlin Plocheck doubled down the left field line with two outs. Sarah Higgins singled to second base and Plocheck scored on the play.

The Spartans answered with four runs in the bottom of the fifth on three hits and one error.

Plocheck, Higgins and Chloe Yeager each had two hits in the second game.

McCarley Thomas, 7-5, went the distance for Lipscomb. She scattered eight hits. Three of the four runs she allowed were earned. She struck out six and walked one.

Lexi Shubert, 12-3, started for Upstate and gave up six hits in six innings along with the one run. She struck out three and walked two.

Holly McKinnon picked up her second save of the season. She threw one scoreless inning. She gave up one hit and struck out two.

In game one Plocheck gave the Lady Bisons a 1-0 lead with a solo home run blast to center field with two outs in the first inning.

Neither team would score again until the seventh when Alicia Dorgan hit a homer to left field to tie the game.

Lipscomb was scoreless in the eighth inning and left two runners on base.  Upstate answered with a three-run walk-off home run to center field by Abbie Millete with two outs.

Mandy Jordan, 15-4, gave up seven hits, struck out seven and walked one in 7.2 innings.

McKinnon allowed five hits, struck out 10 and walked two.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t get as many timely hits as they did,” Ryman said. “Overall, there were a lot of good things, but we didn’t always make the best adjustments when we needed to do it.

“They have a good pitching staff. They are up at the top for a reason. They are both strikeout pitchers. We knew we were going to have to be very intentional about putting the bat on the ball, swinging at quality pitchers and putting balls in play.”

Scorebook notes:

  • Plocheck hit her seventh home run and her 10th double of the season. Last season she had eight home runs and 12 doubles, both career highs.
  • Peyton Ward stole a base in game two, giving her 14 for the season.
  • Plocheck has multiple hits in 11 games.
  • Higgins, who hit her third double of the season in game two, has five multiple-hit games.
  • Yeager recorded her third multiple-hit game.