HOUSTON – Morning time is apparently the right time for the Lipscomb Lady Bisons softball team.
Saturday morning they pounded out a season-high 17 hits on the way to a 9-1 win over Penn State in the Cougar Classic hosted by the University of Houston.
Lipscomb is 13-5 and faces Iowa State at 2. The Lady Bisons will be out to avenge a 6-1 loss to Iowa State Friday night. Penn State fell to 1-14 with the loss.
They started off the scoring quickly against Penn State on a two-run double to right center by Jordan Fortel on the way to a 4-0 lead in the first inning. Fortel’s home run was the crowning blow in the Houston game.
“I am really proud of our hitters,” Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman said. “I thought we did a nice job of adjusting very quickly and being smarter hitters.
“We were going after pitches we could really drive. We weren’t chasing a lot of pitches out of the zone. We created a lot of opportunities for ourselves early.”
Abby Fenichel slammed a two-run homer in the second inning over the center field fence for two more runs. She helped add another run in the third with an RBI-double to right center.
“Abby is hitting the ball really well,” Ryman said. “She is seeing the ball well. She is attacking good pitches. Her approach is good.
“I am really proud of what she is doing. She is really driving the ball now. Her hits aren’t `gimme’ kinds of hits. Her hits are solid.”
Lipscomb added a run in both the sixth and seventh innings on run-producing singles by Graysen Gladden and Sarah Higgins respectively.
Fortel evened her record at 3-3. She threw a complete game allowing only four hits and one run. She walked four and struck out two.
Madison Shaffer, 0-6, started for Penn State and scattered five hits while allowing four runs, three earned, in one inning. She walked one and did not have a strikeout.
Jessica Cummings came on in relief, starting the second inning and completed the game. She gave up five runs, all earned, and 12 hits. She walked two and struck out two.
“We talked about not settling after getting four runs in the first,” Ryman said. “We wanted to stay at it and for the most part we did a good job of that. Overall we did a really good job.”
- The previous high for hits in a game this season was 13 in a 5-0 win Feb. 16 over George Mason.
- Gladden finished with three hits and two RBI. They are her first hits and RBI of the season. She also stole her first base of the season.
“Gray had a big game,” Ryman said. “She made a couple of nice plays in right field as well.”
- Fenichel hit her second home run of the season and added two doubles. She leads the team in doubles with six.
- Fenichel led Lipscomb with four hits, her most in a game this season and the most for any Lady Bisons’ player.
- Fortel connected for her second double of the season.
- Khayla Green finished with three hits for the second time this season and has three multi-hit games.
- Fenichel’s three RBI are a game-high for her this season and her second multiple-RBI game.
- Hannah DeVault’s two hits give her four multi-hit games.
- Higgins collected two hits. She is tied with Caitlin Turner for the lead in multi-hit games with six.
- Green extended her hitting streak to five games, a season high for her. Fortel has hits in her last four games in a row.
- The Lady Bisons stole five bases with Fenichel, Caitlin Plocheck, Green, Peyton Ward and Gladden each with one theft. Green and Ward are tied for the team lead with eight.
- Green has reached base in 10 consecutive games, the longest active streak on the team and tied for the second longest of the season. Fortel has tied her longest streak with seven games.