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March 26, 201712345678RHE
USC Upstate00000000043
Win: JORDAN (16-4) 8.040014
Loss: MCKINNON (14-4) 8.032006
GIBSON (LIP) 401100
HIGGINS (LIP) 201000
DORGAN (UPST) 301000
HUSSEY (UPST) 301000
Softball capitalizes on errors for ASUN win
Sunday, March 26, 2017
By Mark McGee
Softball capitalizes on errors for ASUN win
Photo by Erin Turner

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Some things are simply worth the wait.

The Lipscomb Lady Bisons waited an hour during a rain delay before beginning their Sunday afternoon game at USC Upstate’s Cyrill Stadium.

Then they needed eight innings to score two runs and hang on for a 2-0 win. The shut out prevented the Spartans from sweeping the series, the first ASUN Conference games of the year for both teams.

“We learned some lessons that are going to pay off for us the rest of the season,” Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman said. “You have to turn the page and move forward.”

Lipscomb is 24-9, 1-2 in the ASUN. Upstate slips to 27-7, 2-1 in the conference.

The only runs of the game were scored by Lipscomb in the top of the eighth.

With one out Peyton Ward was safe on an error by the shortstop. Destinee Brewer reached on a fielder’s choice. Ward moved to second on a throwing error and then scored on a throwing error by the second baseman.

“We were in a back-and-forth battle,” Ryman said. “You kind of had the feeling as a coach that whoever made the first mistake, or got that first big hit, would put themselves in the best position to win it.

“Peyton reached on an error. The very next play we had Ward in motion stealing second and Destinee grounds to third. Their third baseman threw it a little bit wide to second and when Ward saw the ball jump away she ran toward third. Then the second baseman threw it away and Peyton scored. It was a big energy moment for us.”

Kasey Gibson singled up the middle to bring home Brewer who had stolen third base.

“We had been scratching and clawing all during the game to get the first run,” Ryman said. “We get one and then Kasey came up and connected on one up the middle. Picking up the second run was really big.”

Gibson, Plocheck and Sarah Higgins each had one hit.

Mandy Jordan, 16-4 (1-1 in the ASUN), threw a four-hitter for the win. She struck out four, walked one and hit one batter.  Jordan lost 4-1 in the series opener, another eight-inning game decided on a three-run homer.

“Mandy was frustrated,” Ryman said. “If there is anything about her personality it is she is a fighter and she gets very angry when she gives up key hits like she did Saturday.

“I am proud of her bouncing back the way she did…grinding out a tough win and finding a way pitching-wise, and with our defense, to keep us in the game. It was another great outing for her.”

Holly McKinnon, 14-4 (1-1 in the conference), took the loss. She allowed three hits and two runs, one earned. She struck out six and did not walk a batter.

“We played three close games this weekend and that is the nature of our teams,” Ryman said. “We both have good pitchers and good hitters.

“I am really proud of our team. We both have lineups that are used to getting seven or eight hits in a game. As far as a number of hits they were hard to come by. Finding a way to win is more important than how many hits are on the board.”

Scorebook notes:

  • It is the ninth shutout for Lipscomb’s pitchers this season. The Lady Bisons have not been shut out this season.
  • Plocheck has hits in her last three games.
  • Gibson has reached base in the last seven games.
  • The Lady Bisons are 4-4 in extra innings games, all eight decided in the eighth inning.

Next up: The Lady Bisons make a brief stop at Draper Diamond at Smith Stadium to play Tennessee Tech in a single game at 5 p.m. Wednesday. They are back on the road next weekend at Jacksonville.