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Saturday, April 18, 2009The Lady Bisons and Mercer spent approximately five hours on the field Friday with both teams coming away with a win in an Atlantic Sun doubleheader.
In game one the Lady Bisons outlasted Mercer for a 2-1 win in 10 innings. Both teams scored in the 10th ending a string of nine shutout innings. It was the first 10 inning game for the Lady Bisons since Christen Campbell pitched 10 innings against Jacksonville in a 3-2 win March 31, 2007.
In game two Mercer won 3-0 as the Lady Bisons were shut out for only the second time this season. The first time was a 4-0 loss to Nicholls State at the Louisiana Classics in Lafayette, La., Feb. 14.
“We talked all week about the team making the fewest mistakes being the one that would win,” said Lipscomb coach Kristen Peck. “We made a couple of defensive miscues. And we weren’t adjusting at the plate.
“In game one we got the big play at the end. In game two we had a few mistakes. We just weren’t clicking on all cylinders.”
Mercer had not been shut out this season and they avoided it in the first game with their lone run.
The Lady Bisons answered loudly in the home part of the inning. Kellie Sirus was placed on second. Abby Keese was intentionally walked for the fifth time in the game. Christen Campbell moved Keese to second and Sirus to third with a sacrifice bunt to the pitcher. Mollie Mitchell was intentionally walked to load the bases. Caroline Mason struck out. Megan Rottler then came in to pinch-hit for Vanessa Medina. Rottler singled to center to bring in Sirus and Keese for the win.
Lauren Dortwegt led the Lady Bisons with three of their seven hits.
Freshman right-hander Whitney Kiihnl picked up her 14th win. She set a career high for innings pitched in a game. She also had 18 strikeouts, a new career high as well.
Left-hander Jenni Holtz went the distance for Mercer, striking out 12 and walking seven.
“Holtz got a raw deal for them,” said Peck. “She threw pretty well against us. Whitney, fortunately for us, threw a very, very good game.”
In game two Mercer scored one run in the second and two in the third. The Lady Bisons managed only three hits, all singles by Dortwegt, Mitchell and Mackenzie Tucker.
“I was a little frustrated with our approach in game two,” said Peck. “I think we came out and coasted a little bit. I think we exhausted so much energy in game one that we came out flat in game two instead of coming out re-energized.”
Left-hander Lacey Richardson won her 10th game of the season for Mercer. She struck out six and walked two.
Right-hander Alaina Jacobson slipped to 8-3. She gave up seven hits while striking out two and walking two.
“Mercer has good pitching,” said Peck. “They have all year. We knew that coming in. We knew both games were going to pitching duels. We will learn from this. We are going to see Mercer again down the road.”
Saturday afternoon at 3 the Lady Bisons will play Kennesaw State in an Atlantic Sun doubleheader at Draper Diamond. Peck will be celebrating her 28th birthday. She would love for her team to present her with two wins. She only needs one to reach 100 in her four seasons at the helm of the Lady Bisons.
“Kennesaw State has been up and down a little this year after losing some key players to injuries,” said Peck. “But they have players that can hit the ball. They have some players that can pitch well on any given day.
“We have got to treat Saturday as a new day offensively and not carry our at bats from Friday into the Kennesaw games. We need to be refreshed and ready to go.”
The Lady Bisons are 31- 10, 9-3 in the A-Sun. Mercer is 30-15, 9-5 in the conference.