LAKE CHARLES, La. – Getting as many runners on base as possible is always a goal for softball teams.
But an even bigger goal is driving those runners across the plate. In Sunday’s 4-3 loss to host McNeese State at Joe Miller Field in the Cowgirl Classic the Lady Bisons stranded eight runners. The Lady Bisons split with McNeese State after winning 6-1 Saturday night.
“We had so many moments defensively and offensively when we could have put the game away,” Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman said. “It was frustrating.
“We would get two runners on with no outs and we couldn’t get them around. We made some mistakes at the plate in key moments.”
Lipscomb struck first with a run in the first. Graysen Gladden led off the game with a single and scored on a fielder’s choice by Hannah DeVault.
A double by Caitlin Turner to left field brought home Jordan Fortel with a run in the third to give Lipscomb a 2-0 lead.
McNeese State answered in the bottom of the third with two runs. A double by Demi Boudreaux was the key hit.
In the fifth the Cowgirls capitalized on an error by Lipscomb catch Jenna Pealor to take a 3-2 lead.
Lipscomb tied the game 3-3 in the sixth as Khayla Green stole second and then scored on an error by McNeese State catcher Aubree Turbeville.
In the home part of the sixth McNeese State produced what proved to be the game-winning run on a single to center field by Haylee Brinley.
“We have focused on finishing this season – finishing plays, innings, games and weekends. We have emphasized not taking our foot off of the gas. We have to make it happen.
“We were a little sluggish. We also had some players in certain moments who tried to do too much. We just weren’t clicking.”
Mandy Jordan, 1-1, threw a complete game for Lipscomb. She scattered seven hits, struck out seven and did not walk a batter.
“I thought Mandy pitched well enough to win,” Ryman said. “McNeese is a good team.
“We had a couple of mistakes late in the game defensively. McNeese capitalized on those mistakes.”
Alexsandra Flores also pitched a complete game. She gave up 11 hits, struck out five and did not walk a batter.
Lipscomb is 3-2 to open the season. McNeese State is 3-3.
“We need to grow from this,” Ryman said. “We need to focus on not letting this happen again.
“We talked about this after the game. Our players are taking a mature approach. The last day of a tournament mimics the last part of a season. Everyone is a little tired but you have to find a way to bring some energy and emotion.”
- Fortel was 4-for-4 at the plate, an individual and team season high. It was her second multi-hit game in the Cowgirl Classic. She also collected three doubles.
- Joining Fortel with multiple-hit performances were Peyton Ward and Khayla Green with two each. It was the third two-hit game for Ward for the weekend and the second for Green.
- The 11 hits for the Lady Bisons marked third time in five games they have reached multiple figures in hits. It is the second highest total of the season. They connected for 12 hits in a 7-0 win over Samford.
- Caitlin Turner also slammed a double in the McNeese State loss, her first of the season.
- The Lady Bisons have hit at least one double in the first five games and have hit two or more doubles in four games. They finished the weekend with 13.
- Neither team drew a walk in the game.
The Lady Bisons head to Mobile for the Jaguar Classic hosted by South Alabama. They open with former ASUN foe Mercer at 11:45 a.m. Feb. 15 and close out the first day against South Alabama.
The classic continues through Feb. 17. The Lady Bisons will face Tulsa and North Dakota on Feb. 16 and end the weekend with a rematch with Mercer.