|March 25, 2018||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||R||H||E|
|Win: JORDAN (12-1)||2.0||0||0||0||2||0|
|Loss: BIGGERSTAFF (9-6)||3.2||6||5||4||2||2|
|March 25, 2018||1||2||3||4||5||R||H||E|
|Win: HILL (7-2)||5.0||3||0||0||1||1|
|Loss: JORDAN (12-2)||5.0||5||2||1||3||3|
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Lipscomb softball wrapped up the opening-weekend of ASUN Conference action by splitting a doubleheader with USC Upstate on Sunday at Draper Diamond at Smith Stadium.
The Lady Bisons put together an impressive team performance in game one that saw them complete one of the best comebacks in recent program history with a 12-11 victory in eight innings. The series finale featured Upstate winning a 2-0 decision in five innings after a 5:30 p.m. curfew.
“I thought we came out today with a renewed attitude and life of energy,” Lipscomb head coach Kristin Ryman said. “This is a team that feeds off of energy and when we don’t have it, it is obvious. In the first game I thought we got to a point where there was so much adrenaline pumping, that we were able to really make some cool things happen.
“It was one of the best come-from-behind wins I have ever been a part of.”
With the split, Lipscomb moves to 19-9 overall and 1-2 in ASUN play, while Upstate goes to 21-10 and 3-3.
The Spartans jumped all over the Lady Bisons in the opening frame with five runs on three hits. Lipscomb, after being shut out on Saturday, responded with a big inning of its own in the bottom of the first, trimming the Upstate lead to 5-3.
Hannah DeVault doubled down the left field line to drive home Caitlin Turner and Abby Fenichel who reached on a walk and a single. Two batters later, Sarah Higgins knocked in DeVault with a single to left.
Trailing 8-4 in the bottom of the fourth, the Purple and Gold put together its best frame of the afternoon by hanging a 5-spot to take its first lead of the contest at 9-8.
Fenichel and Higgins each hammered 2-RBI home runs, and Jordan Fortel chipped in with a RBI single up the middle.
However, the lead was short lived for Lipscomb as the Spartans struck for three more runs in the top of the fifth to take the lead again, 11-9.
Once again, the Lady Bisons battled back. In the bottom of the sixth, Caitlin Plocheck lined a single into center to score DeVault. Upstate threw the ball into right field, and that allowed Higgins to come home from third and level the score at 11-11.
Two innings later in the home half of the eighth, it was Higgins once more. The junior third baseman finished off the Spartans with a RBI-double down the left field line that scored DeVault from second for the game-winning run. Higgins completed a 4-for-4 afternoon with four RBI, a home run, a double and two runs scored.
Mandy Jordan tossed the final two innings in relief for Lipscomb to pick up the victory. She allowed just two walks in her appearance.
- Five different Lady Bisons had multiple hits in game one.
- DeVault posted a career day with a 3-for-4 effort at the dish with a game high four runs scored, two RBI and a walk.
- Fenichel was 2-for-5 with two RBI and two runs.
- Fortel finished 2-for-3 with two walks, two RBI and a run.
- Plocheck was 2-for-4 and Caitlin Turner was 1-for-4.
- Megan Gray got the start in the circle, but lasted just 1.2 innings with eight runs on six hits and four walks.
- Lipscomb outhit Upstate 14-10 with three home runs and three doubles.
USC Upstate wasted no time once again in getting on the scoreboard with a pair of runs in the top of the first. The Spartans scored in the opening frame of all three games this weekend, resulting in eight combined runs.
“They (Upstate) were able to get a couple runs early and it set the tone,” Ryman said. “After that it took us a while to figure it out. We had some good balls put in play, it just took us too long to make anything happen.”
The first real scoring threat for the Lady Bisons came in the bottom of the fourth when Plocheck doubled to right field to put her and Higgins in scoring position. Peyton Ward fouled off two straight pitches before lining a shot down the line in left for the final out.
With the teams agreeing on a drop-dead time of 5:30 p.m. (which means play halts when the time hits and the game reverts back to the previous completed inning), none of what Lipscomb did in the sixth inning counted.
The Lady Bisons loaded the bases with one out and following a Spartan pitching change, Plocheck delivered a sacrifice fly to center that scored DeVault. Immediately after the score, the umps waved their hands in the air and just like that the game was final.
“You hate to see the game end that way, even with a drop dead time,” Ryman said. “We got some momentum rolling there in the sixth, but unfortunately the drop dead time got us.”
Jordan fell to 12-2 on the year with the loss. She worked all five innings with one earned run and three strikeouts.
- Plocheck notched two of the three Lady Bison hits.
- Upstate outhit Lipscomb 5-3.
- The Spartans left eight runners on base, compared to four for the Lady Bisons.
The Lady Bisons will host Louisville on Wednesday at Draper Diamond, weather permitting. The first pitch is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.