Wednesday, April 10, 2013
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It was all about the numbers.
Wednesday night the Lipscomb Lady Bisons swept long-time rival Belmont in a doubleheader by scores of 7-1 and 4-3 at Draper Diamond. The Lady Bisons are 22-18 and have won eight of their last 10 games. Belmont, playing in the Ohio Valley Conference this season, slipped to 12-23.
Those numbers are important, but it goes deeper than the scores.
Heather Parker shut down Belmont for the first five innings of game one. When Belmont scored in the sixth it ended Parker’s scoreless innings streak at 17. Parker evened her record at 9-9. She has only allowed two runs in her last four starts.
Tanner Sanders started game two. In three innings she gave up five hits and three runs, two on solo homers, back-to-back in the fourth by Heather Turner and Kat Hollingsworth. Sanders did not walk or strike out a batter. Sanders earned the win, raising her record to 12-7.
Parker pitched the final four innings and shut down the Bruins the rest of the way. She scattered four hits and struck out four. She did not walk a batter in either game.
LU right fielder Gracey Aguirre continued to hit the ball well at the No. 4 spot in the order. She had two hits and an RBI in game one and added a double in game two.
She has 11 doubles, a career high, for the season. She moves into a tie for sixth place in doubles in a season on the school’s all-time list in the NCAA era. She started out this week ranked 24th nationally in NCAA Division I in doubles per game.
“I don’t go to the plate trying to hit doubles,” Aguirre said. “I usually go up there trying to get a hit and whatever happens will happen.
“I work on how I swing the bat. My goal each time is to hit the ball really hard.”
Aguirre also stole home in the second inning to give the Lady Bisons their first run in game two.
She moved up from the No. 6 spot in the order to fourth 12 games back. The Lady Bisons are 10-2 since she has made the move.
“Coach (Kristin) Ryman moved me up during the Florida Gulf Coast series,” Aguirre said. “I was shocked. She told me I was hitting the ball so I was moving up there.
“I have taken advantage of the opportunity. I want to make coach proud. I don’t want to let her down.”
Aguirre is tied with Brittany Elmore for the longest active hitting streak on the team. Both have hit safely in the last five games. Aguirre is batting.304.
“Every day at practice I pick one thing to focus on and that is what I get better at that day,” Aguirre said. “I love hitting. I have a lot of pride in my hitting.”
Paige Neely, batting in the third spot, blasted a towering home run over the right center field fence to score two runs in the third inning of game two. Neely leads the team in multiple RBI games with seven.
Lead-off hitter Brittany Elmore connected for two hits in game two to give her 13 multiple-hit games for the season, tops for the Purple and Gold.
Heather Montgomery slammed her second triple of the season in game one. Bree Thurman drove in a run in the second inning of game two with her first triple of the season. As a team the Lady Bisons started the week with .26 triples per game, ranking 34th best nationally.
The Lady Bisons return to Atlantic Sun Conference action this weekend when No. 24-ranked USC Upstate visits Draper Diamond. A doubleheader starts at 2 p.m. Saturday. A single game is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday.