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Wednesday, April 08, 2009The Lipscomb Lady Bisons used two strong pitching performances and timely hitting in a doubleheader sweep of UT-Chattanooga’s Lady Mocs.
The Lady Bisons won game one 5-3, and captured the nightcap, 3-1, Wednesday evening at Draper Diamond. It was the first doubleheader sweep for the Lady Bisons since they beat North Florida 1-0 and 2-0 March 27.
“We feel very fortunate to walk out of here with two wins,” said Lady Bisons coach Kristin Peck. “We didn’t do everything perfectly today, but we finally got clutch hits with runners on which was something we haven’t been doing.
“We finally started putting some little things together which were very timely and gave us the opportunity to score. It was good day all around. There are a lot of positives we can take into the weekend.”
In game one freshman Whitney Kiihnl ran her record to 11-5. She gave up four hits and three runs, all earned. She struck out four and walked two.
“We got a pretty good pitching performance out of Whitney in game one,” said Peck. “It was not her best game, but it was good enough to win. And we finally put up some decent runs on the board behind her.”
The Lady Bisons gave Kiihnl a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning when Abby Keese hit her sixth home run of the season over the right field wall.
In the fifth they added four runs. Caroline Mason started things off with a single to center and moved to second on a passed ball. Megan Rottler moved Mason to third with a sacrifice. Mackenzie Tucker was safe at first on a fielder’s choice that allowed Mason to score.
Lauren Dortwegt singled and Tucker went to second. Courtney Billington singled to drive in Tucker. Kellie Sirus then singled to right to send Dortwegt across the plate. Keese reached base as the result of an error by Chattanooga’s shortstop. That play allowed Billington to score the fourth run of the inning.
The Lady Bisons would need the extra runs. The Lady Mocs, with five hitters batting .300 or higher coming into the doubleheader, rallied for three runs in the sixth. Lyndsey Stiles walked to lead off the inning. Kaiti Kelly struck out. Michelle Fuzzard doubled to left center to score Stiles. Tiffany Baker then hit a two-run homer to right field.
Kiihnl regrouped and forced the next two batters to ground out to third base and fly out to right field.
In game two the Lady Mocs opened with one run in the first inning off of Christen Campbell. Stiles opened the game with a single through the right side of the field. With two outs Baker singled to the left side of the field to score Stiles.
The Lady Bisons tied the game with one run in the fourth inning. Sirus singled and then went to second on a sacrifice by Keese. Campbell fouled out and Mollie Mitchell was safe at first on an error by the pitcher. Sirus scored on the play.
In the fifth inning the Lady Bisons took a 2-1 lead. With two outs Dortwegt singled and Billington hit a triple to right center to score Dortwegt. It was the second triple of the season by Billington.
The Lady Bisons added one more run in the sixth. Keese led off with single through the left side of the field. Campbell grounded out to the shortstop as Keese went to second. Mitchell rapped a single to right center to score Keese.
Campbell, who has the lowest earned run average in the Atlantic Sun Conference, improved to 7-0. She scattered four hits and struck out two. She did not walk a batter.
The Lady Bisons had six hits in each game. Sirus had two hits in game one and Dortwegt had two hits in game two. Sirus also had one hit in game two, extending her hitting streak to seven games, the longest current streak on the team.
“It was good to see Mollie get a big hit,” said Peck. Courtney busted out with a couple of big hits. Abby came through with a big hit in game one. It was good to see some of our players that have done a decent job of getting on base lately come through with some timely hits.”
The Lady Bisons are 25-8 overall. The Lady Mocs slipped to 20-18.
Friday evening the Lady Bisons are on the road at ETSU in Johnson City. Saturday they travel to USC-Upstate for what has been billed as the “Atlantic Sun Series of the Week”. Both the Lady Bisons and USC-Upstate tied for a share of the A-Sun regular season championship in 2008.