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Friday, May 08, 2009.DELAND, Fla. _ The Lipscomb Lady Bisons will face Mercer for the second time in the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament Friday night.
The winner plays Campbell for the Atlantic Sun Conference Championship Saturday at 4 p.m. The loser goes home.
The Lady Bisons, 39-13, beat Stetson, 23-31, the No. 6 seed and the conference tournament host, 6-2, Friday afternoon at Patricia Wilson Field here on the Stetson campus. Mercer, 39-18, lost 1-0 in 10 innings to top-seeded Campbell, 37-14, earlier in the afternoon.
The Lady Bisons, the No. 2, moved to the loser's bracket after losing 2-0 to Mercer Thursday night. The Lady Bisons won their tournament opener 6-0 Thursday against ETSU.
Coach Kristin Peck had stressed to her players the importance of a quick start and they apparently listened, scoring three runs in the first inning and one in the second.
“When we get that momentum early it makes such a big difference for us,” said Peck. “It sets the tone right off the bat.
“Everyone is worn out. It is a matter of pushing through. We have to have that gamer tyoe of mentality. It is matter of making plays and finding ways to score.”
In the first Lauren Dortwegt led off with a single to the shortstop. Courtney Billington reached base on a fielder's choice as Dortwegt was at second. Billington then stole second base. Kellie Sirus was walked intentionally. Abby Keese singled to right to load the bases. Campbell was safe at first on a fielder's choice that allowed Billington to score on a fielding error by Stetson's shortstop.
Mollie Mitchell reached base on a throwing error by the first baseman. Sirus and Keese both scored on the play. Mitchell was then thrown out at second on a steal attempt.
With two outs in the second inning Dortwegt singled to third base. Billington was safe as Stetson's pitcher was not able to get a handle on a ground ball. Dortwegt went to third and Billington moved to second on a passed ball. Sirus then lined a double through the left side that scored Dortwegt.
The Lady Bisons added two more runs in the fifth inning. With one out Mitchell and Mason drew back-to-back walks. Abby Wilson singled to right field and was able to advance to second on a fielding error. Mitchell scored on the play as Stetson's catcher was unable to control a throw to the plate.
Mackenzie Tucker was safe on a fielder's choice. Mason scored on the play.
Dortwegt, Sirus and Wilson each had two hits. Keese had the other hit in the seven-hit attack. It was the first time this season Wilson has had two hits in a game. Both hits by Sirus were doubles, the only extra base hits in the game.
“Abby Wilson had an awesome game,” said Peck. “We are trying to find anybody and everybody who can get the job done and put the ball in play. She didn't hit the ball extremely hard, but she found some holes, put the ball in play and a clutch player when we needed her.”
Lipscomb freshman Whitney Kiihnl, making her third start of the tournament, gave up one run in the first inning and one in the fourth. Kiihnl scattered five hits, walked five and struck out 14, tying her second highest total of the season.
Christen Campbell, 11-0, started the game with Mercer.
“Whitney is tired right now,” said Peck. “We like our options with Christen.”
The Lady Bisons are facing left-hander Lacey Richardson for Mercer. She was on the mound in the Lady Bisons loss Thursday.
“We are kind of excited about that,” said Peck. “We have seen her two complete games. We know what she throws. It is going to be a matter of us against her.”