NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb softball team won a pair of games, but it was the way they did it that left coach Kristin Ryman not feeling as satisfied as she might have been.
After shutting down Appalachian State 1-0 in their first game in the Purple/Gold Challenge at Draper Diamond at Smith Field Friday night, the Lady Bisons closed with a 5-3 win over Eastern Illinois.
“I am proud of our team getting two close wins,” Ryman said. “We found ways to win and that is what it is all about.
“Offensively, it was an off day. It doesn’t feel like two complete wins. But it is still a good feeling as a coach. I just want to see our offense back on track Saturday.”
In game one Lipscomb connected for four hits, all singles. In game two the Bisons finished with five hits, with only one for an extra base.
The extra base hit was a solo home run down the left field line by Hannah DeVault to lead off the third inning.
The Bisons opened with three runs in the first inning against Eastern Illinois capitalizing on two hits and three errors.
In the second Khayla Green scored a run for Lipscomb after walking. She advanced on a stolen base and a single by Abby Davis. She was brought home on a sacrifice fly by Graysen Gladden.
“We came out firing and putting the pressure on Eastern Illinois early,” Ryman said. “We kind of started stalling after the third inning.”
Eastern Illinois, boosted by a pair of triples and a home run, scored three runs in the sixth.
Katie Turner, 5-1, pitched 6.2 innings. She gave up two hits, walked one and struck out three. She was credited with allowing one run.
Chloe Yeager briefly came into the game. She recorded one out and two hits (one triple, one home run). She also walked one. Katie Turner returned to the game to finish it out after two runs were scored on Yeager.
“I thought Katie had a good start and was rolling until the sixth inning,” Ryman said. “She just kept grinding away and got key outs. But she gave up the hit in the sixth and we decided to bring in Chloe. That didn’t work so we brought Katie back.”
Jade Montgomery, 0-1, threw all six innings for Eastern Illinois. She scattered five hits, walked five and struck out two.
The lack of offense was a repeat of game one. Ryman was more concerned with the number of strikeouts, especially against Appalachian State.
“There were frustrating things throughout the game from an offensive perspective,” Ryman said. “I felt like our offense had been doing so well lately. It felt like we weren’t our best against Appalachian State.
“The challenge after the first game was to get back to attacking and doing what we do on offense. I thought we had too many strikeouts and too many strikeouts looking in the first game.”
Mandy Jordan’s outing saved the day for Lipscomb against Appalachian State.
“I thought Mandy threw extremely well,” Ryman said. “I thought our defense played well. It was good to see us even through our offensive struggles it was good tosee us use our pitching and defense to win a close game.”
Despite the disappointing offensive performance Ryman saw several positives.
“I thought Hannah DeVault swung the bat well,” Ryman said. “I thought Peyton Ward was on base a lot. Davis made some great plays in center field and took a lot of hits away.
“This is still a work in progress. We have a veteran group. We will see if we can bounce back and play a more complete game.”
The Lady Bisons close out the Purple/Gold Challenge Saturday. They face Miami (Ohio) at 12:30 followed by a rematch with Eastern Illinois at 3.