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Lipscomb ready for wins in final home weekend
USC Upstate (37-10)
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Lipscomb (31-18)
5/4/2012 | Nashville, Tenn. | Attendance: 235
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USC Upstate2020329100
Lipscomb000001153
PitchingIPHRERBBSO
Win: ALEXANDER (25-5) 6.051124
Loss: KIIHNL (21-12) 6.0109533
BattingABRHRBIBBHR
ROBINSON (UPST) 423301
CARTWRIGHT (LIP) 202010

Thursday, May 03, 2012

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Lipscomb will say good-bye to three seniors this weekend when they host USC Upstate (May 4) and ETSU (May 5) to close out the 2012 regular season.

The Lady Bisons enter the weekend at 31-17 (8-6 in the Atlantic Sun), sitting at fourth in the conference. A sweep of Upstate would allow the Lady Bisons to leapfrog the Spartans for third in the conference, while at least two wins this weekend will lock up a post-season spot for Lipscomb.

Junior Kelsey Cartwright is back to swinging a hot bat, hitting .367 in her last 10 games with three home runs. The pitching duo of senior Whitney Kiihnl and redshirt freshman Ashley Anderson has thrown a combined nine complete games out of the last 10 contests.

Between games on Friday the Lady Bisons will honor Kiihnl, Caroline Mason and Mollie Mitchell on Senior Night.

Last Time Against This Week’s Opponents

Lipscomb swept ETSU and Upstate on the road last season. Haley Elliott homered twice and Kiihnl threw a one-hitter in the first game against ETSU, while JJ Nelson threw a complete-game in the second contest to pick up the sweep. Mitchell (two home runs, two doubles) and Mason (two home runs, two doubles) were the hot bats in the sweep in Spartanburg. Lipscomb saw Upstate again in the A-Sun Tournament, winning a 1-0 duel on a Kiihnl two-hit, eight-strikeout performance; Mitchell scored the game-winning run.

Quick Scout – This Weekend’s Opponents

  • USC Upstate – The Spartans are synonymous with hitting this year. Upstate is hitting .324 as a team to lead the Atlantic Sun and rank eighth in the nation. Seven Spartan regulars are hitting above .300, led by freshman Shellie Robinson’s .394 clip. Upstate is 27-5 out of conference, but just 9-5 since A-Sun play began.
  • ETSU – The success or failure of ETSU is directly linked to first baseman Casey Horner. In the Bucs 11 victories, Horner is hitting .394 (13-for-33) with five home runs, four doubles, a triple, six runs scored and 14 batted in. ETSU has won only one of their past 19 contests, against Stetson April 21.

Common Opponents

  • USC Upstate – The Spartans are 8-5 against common opponents, mostly coming through the conference. Upstate split with Florida Gulf Coast, Jacksonville, Kennesaw State, Mercer and Stetson but swept North Florida, while their only non-conference common foe with Lipscomb was Penn State, which Upstate beat 2-0 on March 10. Lipscomb is 6-7 against those squads.
  • ETSU – The Bucs are 2-13 against common Lipscomb opponents, with the aforementioned win against Stetson and a March 10 victory against Wagner the only bright spots. ETSU also lost to Stetson, along with conference sweeps against North Florida, Florida Gulf Coast, Jacksonville, Mercer and Kennesaw State. The Bucs also lost non-conference affairs to Ball State and LIU-Brooklyn. Lipscomb is 9-7 against those opponents.

Big Split Earned in Bowling Green

Ending the non-conference schedule on the road against a quality opponent was a tall order, but the Lady Bisons pulled off a split against Western Kentucky. After a disheartening 6-2 loss in the opener, the Lady Bisons rallied for a 5-4 victory in the second game, highlighted by Cartwright’s 14th home run, tying her for second-most in a single season in Lipscomb history.

Bats Silent, UAB Shuts out Lady Bisons Twice

For the first time since 2006, Lipscomb was shutout twice on the same day, with UAB taking two at Draper Diamond (4-0, 3-0). Kiihnl took the loss in the first game, allowing only a seventh-inning grand slam. Ashley Anderson went the distance in the second game, allowing just one earned run in the loss.

Lipscomb By the Numbers

Kiihnl remains among the nation’s leaders in wins (21, t-34th) and shutouts (eighth, 27th), also ranks high in ERA (1.65, 48th) and saves (two, 80th). Cartwright is tied for 30th nationally with 14 home runs; at .30/g, she’s 27th by the per-game metric. Her .730 slugging percentage is 47th. Mitchell’s 0.59 walks/g is 92nd nationally, while Haley Elliott’s 0.23 home runs/g mark is 81st. Rena’ Cothron remains among the nation’s leaders in sac hits per game, with her 0.39/g mark ranking her fifth.

Milestone Watch
Head coach Kristin Ryman stands at 214 victories, eight away from Andy Lane’s school-record 222 wins. Cartwright is three home runs away from tying Kellie Sirus for most single-season home runs in Lipscomb history at 17. As a team, Lipscomb needs one more stolen base for most in a single-season in school history. Mitchell needs two runs to tie Abby Keese for third-most in a career with 111.

On Deck
This weekend concludes the regular season for Lipscomb. The Lady Bisons will travel to Spartanburg, S.C. for next week’s 2012 Atlantic Sun Softball Championships, scheduled to begin May 9.