|March 30, 2018||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||R||H||E|
|Win: JORDAN (13-2)||7.0||2||1||1||0||10|
|Loss: HOSTETLER (0-2)||6.0||2||1||1||1||1|
|March 30, 2018||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||R||H||E|
|Win: YEAGER (2-1)||8.0||3||1||1||3||7|
|Loss: PERKINS (13-7)||8.0||10||2||2||2||2|
DELAND, FL – Behind two stellar pitching performances, the Lipscomb softball team swept Stetson at Patricia Wilson Field on Friday afternoon.
Junior Mandy Jordan fell just short of a perfect outing as the Bisons squeaked out a 2-1 victory over the Hatters in game one.
Later in the day, sophomore Chloe Yeager went the distance on the mound and Caitlin Plocheck delivered a solo homer to give Lipscomb another 2-1 win in extra innings.
"We know ASUN softball is going to have a lot of close games," Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman said. "I’m proud of us for sticking with it in two tight games. We didn’t have much going in the first game and it’s easy to get frustrated, but we continued to stay in there and fight."
The Bisons improved to 22-9 overall (3-2 ASUN) with the doubleheader sweep.
Game One: Lipscomb 2, Stetson 1
Jordan was at her best on Friday afternoon, and her teammates provided just enough run support for a 2-1 Lipscomb victory over Stetson.
Sarah Higgins delivered the go-ahead RBI when she turned on an inside pitch and sent a single to left to score Hannah Devault in the top of the seventh. One batter later, Plocheck produced a sac fly RBI to give the Bisons a 2-0 lead.
Jordan took a perfect game into the final frame, but Stetson did not go down quietly. Kasey Fava singled for the Hatters’ first baserunner of the game, and she later scored on a groundout by Lizzie Shubert.
Stetson (21-13, 1-4 ASUN) had a chance to knot the score at two, but Devin Lewis lined out to Lipscomb’s Destinee Brewer for the final out of the game, leaving the tying run at third base.
"Mandy has a lot of guts," Ryman said. "She was wearing down a little bit in the seventh, but she continued to go at hitters and rely on her defense."
Jordan finished the day with 10 strikeouts in seven innings of work. Stetson’s two hits and one run in the ninth were the only blemishes on Jordan’s stat line.
Game Two: Lipscomb 2, Stetson 1
The second game of the doubleheader brought a similar storyline, as Yeager was stellar from start to finish. The Birmingham native went eight innings and struck out seven Hatters to boost Lipscomb to its second 2-1 victory of the afternoon.
Plocheck’s solo bomb over the left field fence put the Bisons ahead 2-1 in the top of the eighth, before Turner made a catch in foul ground and gunned down Stetson’s Ashly Smith at second to end the game.
The homer was Plocheck's first of her senior campaign. Ryman said she thinks the first baseman is trending upward after struggling at the plate during the first month of the season.
"She really prides herself on her hitting," Ryman said of Plocheck. "It's been frustrating for her to keep tweaking things and finding a way to make something happen. But everyone knows what she’s capable of, so to see her get her first (home run) was huge."
Unlike the series opener, the Bisons got their bats going early in game two. Lipscomb took a 1-0 lead when Devault ripped a single up the middle to score Turner in the top of the first inning.
Stetson tied the score at 1-1 on an RBI single from Molly McLaughlin in the bottom of the fifth. However, Yeager and the Lipscomb defense kept the Hatters from crossing the plate over the final three frames.
Yeager was making just her second career start after delivering an impressive outing in a 3-1 win over Louisvile on Wednesday. Ryman said injuries to the pitching staff have forced Yeager into a larger role.
"(Yeager) has handled these two starts exceptionally well," Ryman said. "She offers a different speed from some of our other pitchers. Coach Megan (Rhodes-Smith) does a great job of calling pitches for her to try to keep hitters off balance."
AROUND THE HORN:
- Turner broke up Stetson’s no-hit bid in the sixth inning of game one. She finished 3-for-7 on the day to improve her average to .337.
- Neither team had a runner reach scoring position in game one until Devault doubled in the top of the seventh.
- Jordan fell just short of her second no-hitter of the season. The junior shutout Bradley with a no-no on March 14, when she scattered 14 strikeouts over seven innings of work.
- Turner, Devault and Higgins each had a pair of base knocks in game two. No Lipscomb batter had more than one hit in the opener.
- Jordan improved to 13-2 while Yeager moved to 2-1 on the season. Yeager also improved her ERA from 2.80 to 2.05.
- Game one lasted 1:45, while game two lasted 2:08 with 132 fans in attendance.
The two teams will meet again on Saturday for the series finale. First pitch is set for noon CT at Patricia Wilson Field. Fans can watch the game live on ESPN3 by clicking HERE.
"Sweeping is very hard to do," Ryman said. "There are no easy wins in our conference. We have to appreciate the competition and go at it full strength."