NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Lipscomb softball coach Kristin Ryman knew as soon as she walked through the outfield gate in left field that it was going to be a good afternoon.
Her intuition was correct as the Lady Bisons connected for 11 hits in an 8-3 win over Tennessee Tech from the Ohio Valley Conference Wednesday afternoon at Draper Diamond at Smith Stadium.
“I felt the energy when I walked through the gate,” Ryman said. “We were really loose. I just had the sense we were going to play well.
“We know this about our team…they have to play loose and free, but not too goofy. They need to enjoy what they do. We don’t want them to over think any one game. When we do, we are not ourselves.”
Lipscomb is 21-11-1. Tennessee Tech dropped to 12-14.
In what has become commonplace for the Lady Bisons the Wednesday opposition threw its best pitcher at them.
Alyssa Arden, 7-6, started for the Golden Eagles. In four innings she scattered seven hits and allowed six runs, five earned, and walked four.
Kayla Hughes pitched the final two innings for Tennessee Tech. She gave up four hits and two runs along with three walks.
Each Tennessee Tech player struck out one batter.
Graysen Gladden led Lipscomb with three hits and three runs batted in, all game highs.
“It was good to see Graysen lock back in,” Ryman said. “She had such a good start to the season and then hit a rough patch for a while.”
Jenna Pealor added a pair of doubles and one RBI. Destinee Brewer also drove in two runs on an infield single. Jordan Fortel also had two hits and two RBI.
Ryman was pleased to see Pealor at No. 6 in the batting order along with Gladden at No.7 and Brewer at No.9 be so productive in driving in runs.
“What a spark from that part of the order,” Ryman said. “We need that production from them. We know what they are capable of.”
Megan Gray, 4-2, earned the complete game victory. She gave up three hits, all for extra bases with all three runs the result of two home runs. She also gave up a double. She struck out six and walked four.
“I thought we did a really nice job all the way around,” Ryman said. “We played really good defense. We made plays behind Megan. She also got some key strikeouts.
“She gave up a couple of big hits, but the silver lining is she has learned how to rebound. She is a much more mature player at this point and that is the growth we want to see from her.”
- Fortel has hit safely in 31 straight games, breaking the program record of 30 set in 2015 by Brittany Elmore.
- Fortel also has 10 multi-hit games, tops on the team.
- Gladden and Khayla Green each stole a base. Gladden is second behind Peyton Ward with 11. Green is third and is a perfect 10-for-10 in steals.
The Lady Bisons are back at Draper Diamond at Smith Stadium Saturday and Sunday for a three-game ASUN series with North Florida. Games times on Saturday, subject to possible inclement weather, are at 1 and 3. Sunday’s game will start at noon.