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4/2/2014 | Nashville, Tenn. | Attendance: 136
4/2/2014 | Nashville, Tenn. | Attendance: 132
Wednesday, April 02, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Lightning could be seen in the distance beyond left field, but the Lipscomb Lady Bisons couldn’t get it to strike twice for them on the softball field.
Wednesday night in a doubleheader with UAB from Conference USA the Lady Bisons won the first game on a walk-off double by Brittany Elmore that drove in two runs for a 2-1 win.
Game two, however, ended differently. The Lady Bisons spotted UAB three first inning runs and then tied the game before losing 5-3 when UAB scored two in the seventh.
With the split the Lady Bisons are 28-9 overall. UAB is 22-15.
“Getting the win in the first game was huge for us,” Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman said. “Obviously, we wanted the sweep. When we came back to tie it in the second game we thought we had a chance to win it, but UAB did a really great job of coming back with two runs late.
“That is why we schedule tough. We want to put ourselves in a position to challenge teams that are ranked as high as we are and UAB is ranked ahead of us a little right now. I think if we can continue to win games against high caliber teams against UAB we will put ourselves in a great position for the second half of the year.”
Lipscomb left-hander Ashley Anderson won the opening game. She scattered five hits, walked one and struck out two. She is 13-2 and has tied her previous season high for wins set in 2012.
“I thought Ashley threw really great in game one,” Ryman said. “Overall. I thought she had a good night.”
In game two Ryman used three pitchers in the circle. Right-hander Heather Parker started, but lasted only one-third of inning giving up two hits, including a three-run homer to center field by Mary Warren.
Right-hander Tanner Sanders, 8-4, replaced Parker and threw the next 5.2 innings. She gave up five hits and two runs. She walked six and struck out two.
“Tanner came in earlier than expected,” Ryman said. “I thought it was a good outing for her. She came in and did what we needed her to do in the first inning and that was to get us out of trouble. It was a tough loss for her.
“She pitched another five innings well. She had several really good innings. Late in the game I thought she was starting to get behind hitters more. They were having more solid contact against her."
Anderson returned in the seventh and closed out the game allowing two hits and striking out one.
“Ashley wasn’t quite as sharp in game two,” Ryman said. “She came into a pressure situation with two runners on and nobody out. She was frustrated to finish that way.
“As a pitching staff we have to get better at closing games out in tough situations. That is something we are continuing to work on.”
Both teams had nine hits in game two. Rena’ Cothron had a double in game two and finished four-for-five combined.
“Rena’ had some good at bats at USC Upstate this past weekend,” Ryman said. “For her to continue her hitting against UAB is big. We have talked so often this year how our lineup is so strong from top to bottom.
“She did a nice job of starting several innings off with big hits and driving in a run. She did a great job of attacking good pitches. I am proud of her. She played a huge role offensively in both games.”
The Lady Bisons scored one run in the second on a double to left center by Cothron that scored Mimi Cartwright who had reached base on an infield single.
They added two more runs in the third to tie the game on four hits including an RBI-single down the left field line by Haley Elliott.
In the second game sophomore Madison Wray made her first career start at third base. Paige Neely moved from third base to shortstop. Bridgette Begle sat out game two for what Ryman called “a preventative measure”.
“We felt like we didn’t want to push the issue with Bridgette physically in game two,” Ryman said. “We felt like it was the smarter thing to let her rest in game two and have her rest some the rest of the week to get her ready for this weekend.”
The Lady Bisons return to Atlantic Sun play at Draper Diamond at Smith Stadium Saturday and Sunday for a three-game series with ETSU. They will play a doubleheader Saturday and a single game on Sunday. The games start at 1 p.m. each day.
“The goal the next two days is to play off the confidence we got back against UAB,” Ryman said. “I thought at moments we played well and we attacked the ball better than we did last weekend. That was good to see.
“We have to keep building off of that. This is the point in the season where every team is kind of in a rut. We have all been going at it for a while. There is school. Players are banged up. We talked to our players and told them the teams that fight through these things will have stronger second halves and be stronger going into postseason play. We have to continue to build off of the positives.”