NASHVILLE, Tenn. - It was homework time for the Lipscomb Lady Bisons and the coaching staff had them right down their answers to a pair of important questions.
“We sometimes ask them to fill out index cards after a game listing three things they did well and three things they did not do well,” Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman said. “We added to that asking them was their switch on for these games and how did they rebound from one at-bat to another or from game one to game two.
“It is important to know how to rebound because in this sport there is so much failure. If they don’t know how to handle it then it can eat you up.”
Ryman is hopeful her team learned hard lessons from Saturday’s back-to-back losses in the Purple and Gold Challenge at Draper Diamond at Smith Stadium. The Lady Bisons, 10-4, closed out the afternoon with a 5-1 loss to Georgia Southern, 11-6, after losing 3-1 to ETSU, 5-8, in the first game of the day.
“We can control how we come out to start a game,” Ryman said. “I think we can be mentally tougher. We just didn’t seem to have it together from the start.
“Preparation is part of being mentally tougher. But once you get into a game there are a lot of moments. There are good and bad moments. You can’t let the bad moments pile up and all of a sudden say in the seventh inning now we are going to try to win.”
Ryman will get the opportunity to see if her players have the right frame of mind Sunday when the Lady Bisons close out the Purple and Gold Challenge against Indiana State at 2:30 p.m. Georgia Southern and ETSU play at noon.
“We can’t be a team that is soft,” Ryman said. “When we come out and get behind early we have to have a little bit more grit.
“I’ve seen that grit and mental toughness in this team before. We just didn’t see it in these games. We struggled to overcome bad at bats. We struggled to overcome big hits by the other team. We struggled to overcome missed pitches.”
Megan Gray, 2-1, scattered five hits. She walked three, hit one batter and struck out four in six innings. Mandy Jordan pitched the seventh inning. She allowed one hit, struck out two and walked one.
Kierra Camp, who lost to Lipscomb 5-3 Friday, went the distance. She gave up four hits, walked four and struck out one.
“We can’t worry about who we are playing,” Ryman said. “We have to come out and attack every team with the same kind of intensity and the same desire to win.
“If we do that I like our chances against anybody. I have said all year long there isn’t a team on our schedule we can’t beat and there isn’t anyone on our schedule that can’t beat us. We have to come out and control things from the start and bring more intensity and energy.”
- All five runs for Georgia Southern were off of home runs allowed by Gray. In the fourth inning Alyssa Mullis hit a two-run shot to left center. Hannah Ferrell followed with a solo blast to left field. In the fifth Logan Harrell connected for a two-run round-tripper.
- Prior to Saturday the Lady Bisons pitchers had only allowed one home run in 12 games. They gave up four over both games.
- Caitlin Plocheck hit a double to left center to lead off the fourth inning against Georgia Southern. Plocheck led the team with two hits. It was her third multiple-hit game of the season.
- Peyton Ward drove in Jordan Fortel for Lipscomb’s only run in the game on a single to right field.
- Lipscomb split 1-1 with Georgia Southern in the tournament.