April 07, 201712345678RHE
Win: PERKINS (8-6) 8.050043
Loss: MANDY JORDAN (17-7) 8.0721011
SMITH (STET) 402200
April 08, 20171234567RHE
Win: MCCARLEY THOMAS (10-5) 7.083367
Loss: HUTTO (12-3) 6.095534
Softball comes back for ASUN split with Stetson
Saturday, April 8, 2017
By Mark McGee
Softball comes back for ASUN split with Stetson

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – When Sarah Higgins slammed a two-run home over the left field fence she did more than give the Lipscomb Lady Bisons a 2-0 lead.

Those two runs ended a dismal 22-inning streak by the Lady Bisons without a run. After not being shutout in the first 36 games of the season the Lady Bisons lost game one to Stetson 2-0 in eight innings Saturday afternoon. It was the third consecutive shutout loss.

“We needed that spark in the middle of the order and it was good to see Sarah do it in game two,” Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman said. “I thought Abby Fenichel gave us a spark in game one.”

But Higgins, who finished game two with three hits, two runs and two runs batted in gave the Lady Bisons the edge they had been looking for in the first inning of the nightcap, a 5-3 victory.

“We have yet to play a conference game that hasn’t been really close,” Ryman said. “Not all of them have been one-run games, but they have all been in that two or three run range.

“Every game we seem to be on the winning side or we are fighting to close the gap. It was no different against Stetson. Everybody is going to give us a fight and we know that.”

After splitting the ASUN Conference series doubleheader at Draper Diamond at Smith Stadium the Lady Bisons will go for the series win at 11 a.m. Sunday. Lipscomb is 28-12, 4-4 in the ASUN. Stetson is 24-10, 2-3 in the conference.

In game two the Lady Bisons added a run in the fourth on a single to center by Khayla Green.

Stetson answered with two runs in the sixth.

The Lady Bisons added two more in the bottom of the sixth inning. Green walked with two outs and stole second. Destinee Brewer singled and moved to second on the throw. Green scored on the play. Kasey Gibson doubled to score Brewer.

“I thought our slappers, Destinee and Kasey, did a good job of adjusting late in the second game to help us pick up two more runs,” Ryman said. “What was really cool is we were up 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth and we got the rally going on a two-out walk.

“We have had so many opportunities lately where we have had runners on and we couldn’t come through. To score two runs off of a two-out walk was huge with the walk and the two singles up the middle.”

The Hatters did not go away easily. They added another run in the top of the seventh.

“Offensively, it was good to see us come to life in game two,” Ryman said. “If we can keep some of that rolling Sunday I think we are going to have a good shot at winning the series.”

McCarley Thomas, 10-5, went the distance for Lipscomb. She allowed eight hits. All three runs were earned. She struck out seven and walked six.

“McCarley found a way to win and that is what it is about – competing and finding a way to win,” Ryman said. “Sometimes as a pitcher you are going to carry the load and sometimes you have to rely on your teammates. There were moments on both sides for her.”

Brooke Hutto, 12-3, took the loss. She gave up nine hits. All the runs she allowed were earned. She struck out four and walked three.

For the third straight time Lipscomb pitcher Mandy Jordan, 17-7, was the victim as her teammates failed to produce any run support in game one. She struck out 11 and did not walk a batter. She scattered seven hits.

“I thought Mandy threw really well,” Ryman said. “In a lot of ways I thought she dominated game one. They had a lot of hits, but a lot of them were little hits and spinning-type balls in the infield.”

Tori Perkins, 8-6, was the winner. Lipscomb batters finished with five hits. She walked four and struck out three.

Fenichel led the way at the plate with two hits. Hannah DeVault added a double.

Scorebook notes:

  • The nine hits in game two were the most by Lipscomb in an ASUN game this season. They connected for eight at Jacksonville April 1.
  • Higgins tied her game high for hits this season. She collected three at Troy Feb. 24.
  • Gibson and DeVault each have five doubles for the season.
  • Lipscomb is 13-1 at home this season. This was the first home ASUN series of the season.
  • Stetson’s Jessie TenBroeck tied former Lipscomb player Brittany Elmore for the all-time ASUN career stolen base record of 136 with two in game one and three in game two.