NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The stands were packed. There was a buzz in the stands. TV cameras were rolling.
That is the type of atmosphere that is expected when a nationally-ranked team makes a visit. Such was the case Monday night as Texas, ranked No. 11 entering the game and No. 5 in the RPI, shut out the Lady Bisons 5-0 at Draper Diamond at Smith Stadium.
“Our students are on spring break,” Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman said. “But I thought we had a really good crowd.”
In the wake of the loss, Ryman reflected on what the game meant to her players, the program and the local softball community.
“Games like this are opportunities for our program,” Ryman said. “I think games like this can help propel us into the rest of the season.
“We really had the opportunity to promote this game to the community. Hopefully today we showed some people what we are all about. And supporting the sport of softball in the community is so big.”
Lipscomb managed only one hit, a double to left center by Jordan Fortel in the seventh inning.
“I loved the fight we showed in the seventh,” Ryman said. “Jordan is easily one of our most competitive players. I sensed she was going to get the barrel on the ball.
“That is our team. Our girls genuinely get excited for the successes of their teammates. That is something we feel really blessed with as coaches.”
Miranda Elish, 7-4, threw for Texas. She struck out 11 and walked two.
“We struggled offensively,” Ryman said. “Miranda Elish is an All-American for a reason. She got better as the game went on. She throws gas.
“They showed a lot of respect for us by having her pitch. They have a really strong staff, but she is the veteran. She is what I consider as being their ace. I don’t think we are going to face a better pitcher than we did in this game.”
Mandy Jordan, 7-5, went the distance for Lipscomb. She scattered eight hits, only two for extra bases, struck out two, hit one batter and did not allow a walk.
“We dd a nice job pitching and defensively,” Ryman said. “I thought Mandy threw an outstanding game. She had several one, two, three innings. She mixed her pitches well. I am really proud of her.
“I thought we made some solid plays in the infield and the outfield. As a coach, there is not much you can be upset about.”
Ryman liked the way her players approached the game.
“We have a lot of respect for what Texas has done this year and for the history of their program,” Ryman said. “They have been off to a really good start.
“We knew coming in how tough it was going to be, but we weren’t scared. We have played so many ranked teams over the years, so we don’t get really nervous about facing highly-ranked teams.”
- Fortel extended her streak of reaching base safely in a game to 26.
- Fortel’s double was her ninth of the season. Hannah DeVault, who walked in the seventh, leads the team with 10.
- The Lady Bisons have not been the victim of a no-hitter this season.
- All three times the Lady Bisons have been shut out have been against ranked teams – Arkansas (5-0), Florida State (13-0) and Texas.
- Cheri Kempf, commissioner of National Pro Fastpitch, threw out the first pitch.
The Lady Bisons hit the road to Virginia for the rest of the week. Wednesday they stop in Blacksburg to face Virginia Tech at 5 p.m.
They then head to Lynchburg, Virginia to face Liberty in the first ASUN series of the season Saturday and Sunday.