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February 14, 2020123456RHE
Win: GRAY (3-0) 6.056635
Loss: JONES (2-1) 1.254422
BROWN (MAR) 312000
VETULA (LIP) 535400
February 14, 20201234567RHE
Win: TURNER (1-0) 7.0103219
Loss: MCCRADY (0-3) 7.084447
TURNER (LIP) 403100
YUN (OHIO) 413100
Lady Bisons look to pacesetters on the way to two victories
Friday, February 14, 2020
By Mark McGee
Lady Bisons look to pacesetters on the way to two victories

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Teams are always looking  for  pacesetters and the Lipscomb Lady Bisons could point to three in two wins.

The Lady Bisons, 4-1, closed the first day of the Chattanooga Challenge Friday with a 4-3 come-from-behind win over Ohio, winless in seven games. They opened with 14-6 run-rule win in six innings against Marshall, 2-2.

Sophomore Katie Turner set the example for the rest of the team to follow in the Ohio game. After spotting Ohio two runs in the first inning, Katie Turner refused to be ruffled and went the distance for the win.

Along the way she struck out nine, scattered 10 hits and walked one batter in her first start of the season.

“Katie had a little of a slow start,” Ryman said. “She was struggling to hit her spots. We made a couple of mistakes behind her.

“We seemed out of sorts as a team, but we eventually settled in. I think that is sign of maturity. It was good to see that.”

At the plate Katie Turner slammed three doubles in four trips to the plate, driving in one run.

“We took our cues from Katie,” Ryman said. “She settled in and I think we all settled in. She was a spark offensively and was locked  in as much as I have ever seen her at the plate and moved past her pitching start. It was a big  game for her all the way around.

“She got more comfortable as the game went along. I was really impressed to see how she found a way to get big  key outs when we needed them. The fact she stayed poised was something our team fed off.”

 The Lady Bisons connected for six doubles against Ohio with Kamrie Rich driving a double down the left field line in the top of the seventh to bring in Peyton Ward with what proved to be game winning run.

Also connecting for doubles were Olivia Ward and Ashley Montoya.

The Lady Bisons scored three in the sixth and one in the seventh.

“We finally got those key hits,” Ryman said. “The middle part of the order really did a nice job against Ohio.

“Katie Turner was really locked in. Liv Ward has been off to a slow start, but she came through with a key hit for us. Montoya is getting better at the plate. Peyton Ward found a way to get on base a couple of times without getting a hit.”

Vetula sets the table

Lead-off hitters are known as table setters. Amy Vetula, hitting at the top of the line-up for the first time in her college career, set a buffet with five hits in five at bats. She drove in four runs, including two on a triple. She also scored three times.

“Amy was outstanding,” Ryman said. “She is willing to play whatever role we need from her. She came out of the gate just firing. She was working the count deep in several at bats especially late in the game. She would find a way to get a hit late in the count.

“She was the spark we needed to kind of get going for the whole weekend. We took our cues from Katie Turner in the Ohio game and took our cues from Megan Gray out in the field and from Amy at the plate against Marshall."

In  the circle Gray, 3-0, gave up five hits and six earned runs. She walked three and struck out five.

Rich, who drove in deciding run against Ohio, also put the Marshall game on ice. Her double to right field in the sixth drove in three runs to  give the Lady Bisons an eight-run lead.

The 13 hits in the Marshall game exceeded the 11 the Lady Bisons collected in three games last weekend in the Troy Classic. Ryman has stressed the process of improving with every at bat and her players are listening.

“It was what we have been talking about,” Ryman said. “We saw the offense start clicking right off the bat against Marshall after a slow start last weekend.

“We are momentum-type team. It is fun when you see games like this one start happening and come to fruition. We are wearing them out with the word process. We are growing and that is what we want to see right now.”

Around the bases:

  • Rich’s four RBI in the Marshall win are a career high. Three of the RBI were the result of the first double of her career.
  • Vetula’s triple in the Marshall game was a career first.
  • The victory ended Marshall’s overall winning streak against Lipscomb at three games. Marshall leads the series 3-2.
  • Jenna Endris hit her first double of the season and drove in a run in the Marshall game.
  • Vetula played second base for the first time ever for the Lady Bisons in both games. She also is a shortstop as well as an outfielder.
  • Kaitlyn Woodside played her first collegiate game as a starter against Marshall game. Also debuting against Marshall were Kelly Paulson and Ashley Montoya.
  • Peyton Ward stole two bases as the Lady Bisons had seven steals against Marshall
  • Montoya made her first collegiate start at catcher in the Ohio game and hit her first career double.
  • Elise Shewmaker made her college debut as a pinch-runner against Ohio and scored a run.
  • Presley Leebrick drove in her first collegiate run in the Marshall game.

Next up:

Saturday morning at 10 the Lady Bisons continue the Chattanooga Challenge against Bowling Green State.

At 12:30 Lipscomb will face Western Kentucky. The Lady Bisons beat the Hilltoppers 3-2 last weekend at the Troy Classic to open the season.

Sunday the Lady Bisons close out the weekend with a 9 a.m.  rematch with Ohio.