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Lipscomb battles for split at Jacksonville
Lipscomb (21-10)
at
Jacksonville (20-15)
4/1/2012 | Jacksonville, FL | Attendance: 123
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Lipscomb0000000010
Jacksonville0000001110
PitchingIPHRERBBSO
Win: SIGREST (13-7) 7.010018
Loss: KIIHNL (17-6) 6.111143
BattingABRHRBIBBHR
KIIHNL (LIP) 201000
GAJOWNIK (JU) 311101

Sunday, April 01, 2012

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After waiting an extra day for the match-up, Lipscomb earned a doubleheader split against Jacksonville, Sunday, at the JU Softball Complex. The Lady Bison dropped a game-one heartbreaker, 1-0, but rebounded strong to topple the Dolphins 9-3 in the second game.

In what is certain to go down as one of the best pitcher’s duels in the Atlantic Sun this year, Lipscomb senior Whitney Kiihnl and Jacksonville’s Sarah Sigrest were stellar in the opener. Both were preseason All-Conference selections and lived up to those expectations on Sunday.

Neither side advanced a runner to second base through the first game’s first six and a half innings. Kiihnl was the only batter for either team to get a hit in that time, singling to left field with one out in the third.

Jacksonville (20-16, 2-2 A-Sun) got runners on via walk on four occasions but never reached scoring position. Senior Mollie Mitchell was the only other Lipscomb (22-10, 2-2 A-Sun) base runner, coaxing a walk to lead off the second inning.

Kiihnl carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning, but was foiled by Jacksonville’s Ronnie Gajownik. With one out in the bottom of the seventh, Gajownik hit a walk-off solo home run to left-centerfield, ending the game on Jacksonville’s lone hit of the first game.

It was a bitter end for Kiihnl, who went 6.1 innings of near-perfect ball. She walked four and struck out three. To her credit, Jacksonville’s Sigrest matched her each step of the way, allowing one hit and one walk while striking out eight for the complete-game shutout.

Game Two – Lipscomb 9, Jacksonville 3

In game two, the Jacksonville offense got on the board in the second inning. Ashley Simon doubled in Gajownik for the first run of the day, then came around to score on Melissa Morales’ single up the middle.

Freshman Gracey Aguirre left her mark on this game in the top of the third. She hit her season’s second home run, a solo shot to left field, to lead off the inning and cut the deficit in half.

Junior Kelsey Cartwright led off the fourth inning with a solo home run to tie it up. Her season’s 11th home run sparked a four-run inning that would put the Lady Bison ahead for good.

Seniors Mollie Mitchell and Caroline Mason singled back-to-back, with Mitchell eventually coming around to score on a single by sophomore Kristen Sturdivant.

Sophomore Bridgette Begle drove in Mason with an infield single, advancing to second on a throwing error that also scored Sturdivant.

Gajownik scored an unearned run in the home half of the fourth. She singled to lead off the inning, advancing to second on a single by Simon and scoring from second on an error.

Mason added a solo home run, her second homer of the weekend and season’s fifth, to lead off the sixth inning.

The Lady Bison would add three big insurance runs in the seventh thanks to sophomore Haley Elliott. After a Mitchell double and a Mason walk, Elliott clubbed her season’s sixth home run to left field to extend the lead to six runs.

Mitchell, Mason, Sturdivant and Begle each collected two hits for Lipscomb in the second game of the doubleheader.

Redshirt freshman Ashley Anderson got the victory, tossing 4.1 innings and scattering seven hits and three runs, two earned. She struck out two. Kiihnl got the save, her season’s second, throwing 2.2 and striking out three.

The Lady Bison open the home A-Sun schedule next weekend, hosting Florida Gulf Coast (Friday, April 6) and Stetson (Saturday, April 7) at Draper Diamond.