March 16, 20191234567RHE
Purdue Fort Wayne0000000022
Lipscomb110040X660
PitchingIPHRERBBSO
Win: GRAY (3-1) 7.020019
Loss: S. Eyre (1-6) 6.066573
BattingABRHRBIBBHR
L.Wilzbacher (PURDUEFW) 301000
A. Hale (PURDUEFW) 301000
FORTEL (LIP) 312010
Gray's two-hitter sparks win over Purdue-Fort Wayne
Saturday, March 16, 2019
By Mark McGee
Gray's two-hitter sparks win over Purdue-Fort Wayne

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Being able to make in-game adjustments in a given situation is often difficult, but always important.

Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman is crediting the continual improvement of the ability of her team to adjust, especially at the plate, as one of the reasons the Lady Bisons have not been beaten in 12 of their last 13 games.

Saturday afternoon the Lady Bisons, 18-7-1, shut out Purdue-Fort Wayne, 5-14, 6-0 at E.S. Rose Park in the Belmont Invitational. They managed only six hits. Two of them RBI-doubles back-to-back in the fifth inning by Hannah DeVault and Jenna Pealor, but they also walked seven times as a team.

“We are doing a really good job of adjusting to the strike zone and taking the walks when they are there,” Ryman said. “We have really worked hard on our discipline.

“You have to know the umpire’s zone. It is your job as a hitter to adjust to the zone. You have to take base runners when you can. It is not just black-and-white all the time.”

Megan Gray, 3-1 appeared to be heading for her second no-hitter of the season before giving up a pair of singles to start the top of the seventh. She finished with nine strikeouts, including the final batter, and walked only one.

“Megan only allowed three base runners,” Ryman said. “She did a tremendous job. Her no-hitter got broken up with nobody out. Neither of those singles were hit that hard. They were both kind if bloopy.

“I think sometimes, when you have thrown that well, it is easy to feel a little frustration in the moment knowing you are that close to it. You can lose it for a second as far as your control and mentality.”

Gray didn’t let the setback affect her. She came back and retired the final three batters.

“She had an `I don’t care attitude’,” Ryman said. “She came right back at them.”

Shaina Eyre, 1-6, took the loss. Five of the runs she allowed were earned.  She struck out three.

Lipscomb scored in the first inning on a fielding error by the catcher as Peyton Ward ran in from third.

The Lady Bisons added another run in the second on a fielder’s choice.

In the fifth Destinee Brewer walked with bases load to bring in the fourth run of the inning.

“We didn’t get much going offensively early in the game, but found a way to get two runs across,” Ryman said. “We got it going more in the fifth.

“As a coach you would love to see eight-plus hits on the board every game, but that is just not realistic. Sometimes you must fight and grind and find a way to make it happen. That is what we are doing right now.”

QUICK HITS

  • Higgins has broken the 150-hit barrier with 151 after slamming a double that hit the top of the left field fence and bounced back onto the field.
  • On the all-time school list Higgins has moved into the 10th spot in career doubles with 28.
  • With a bunt in the bottom of the third inning Fortel extended her reached base safely streak to 24 games. She extended her team-leading hit streak to seven games.
  • DeVault has 20 RBI, second to Fortel. DeVault leads the team in doubles with 10.
  • Green has reached base safely in each of her last 10 games.
  • Fortel was the game leader with two hits, her eighth multi-hit game of the season, tops on the team.
  • DeVault is tied for second on the team with four multiple-RBI games.

 

NEXT

The Lady Bisons have a rematch with Purdue-Fort Wayne Sunday at 11:15 a.m. to close out the Belmont Invitational.

There is little time to rest. Lipscomb will welcome No. 11-ranked Texas to Draper Diamond at Smith Stadium Monday for a 5 p.m. game.