By MARK MCGEE
TROY, Ala. – The Lipscomb Lady Bisons followed coach Kristin Ryman’s blue print for her 2020 team to perfection.
Ryman expects her team to play “small ball” and continue to build on their reputation as a team that never says die. They did both, using five singles and four Western Kentucky fielding errors for a 3-2 season opening come-from-behind win in the Troy Classic Friday at the Troy Softball Complex.
The Lady Bisons are back on the field at 3 today when they face the host Troy team.
Lipscomb spotted the Hilltoppers a 2-0 lead in the second inning. In the fourth catcher Kamrie Rich broke Western Kentucky’s bids for a no-hitter and shutout with a single down the right field line to drive in Hannah DeVault.
In the fifth inning the Lady Bisons would connect for four singles and take advantage of a Western Kentucky fielding error to score two runs.
Caitlin Turner opened the inning with a single to left. Amy Vetula and Abby Davis loaded the bases with one out. Peyton Ward hit a ball that was mishandled by the right fielder to score Caitlin Turner. DeVault pushed the ball through the left side to bring in Vetula.
In the sixth with Lipscomb holding on to a one-run lead Megan Gray loaded the bases on three singles. She managed to get out of the inning without giving up a run by sitting down the next three batters
In the seventh she sealed the win with a 1-2-3 inning, concluding the game with a strikeout.
Gray went the distance for the Lady Bisons. She scattered 11 hits, including one double. She struck out four and walked four. Both runs she allowed were earned.
Starter Kelsey Aikey took the loss. She pitched 4.1 innings and allowed three hits and three runs, one earned. She struck out eight and walked one.
Shelby Nunn closed out the game for the Hilltoppers with two hits and no runs in 1.2 innings.
Around the bases
- Rich, a redshirt freshman got her first single and first RBI of her career.
- It is the third season in a row the Lady Bisons have opened the season with a victory. They have won their season opener 11 times since 2003.
- In addition to Rich, freshmen Jessie Brown, Presley Leebrick and Kyndall Crawford made their collegiate debuts. Olivia Ward, a transfer from the University of Kentucky, played her first game as a Lady Bison.
The Lady Bisons continue the Troy Classic Saturday with back-to-back games starting at 4 with a rematch with Troy and at 7 against Charleston. They close out the classic Sunday facing Charleston at 12:30.