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Wednesday, April 06, 2011Lipscomb dropped a pair of tightly contested games at Blue Raider Field on Wednesday as Middle Tennessee edged the Lady Bisons 4-3 in game one before closing the nightcap with a 3-1 victory in game two.
With the two losses on Wednesday, Lipscomb (18-14) has now lost three straight games after winning eight straight from March 20 – April 1.
Lipscomb jumped out to an early 2-1 lead in the top of the fourth inning of game one as Courtney Billington connected on a two-out, two-run double to left field to score Caroline Mason and Mollie Mitchell who reached base with a pair of two-out singles.
The Blue Raiders (13-23) retook the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning when Kelsey Dortch hit a rare inside-the-park home run to give MTSU a 3-2 lead.
MTSU took advantage of three free passes (two walks and a hit batter) in the fifth inning to tack on another run to make it 4-2 in favor of MTSU.
The Lady Bisons cut into the Blue Raider lead in the sixth when Haley Elliott followed up a Billington single with a two-out RBI-double to right-center to make it a 4-3 game but that was all they would get.
Billington led Lipscomb with two hits in game one as both teams recorded just six hits in the game.
Junior Whitney Kiihnl allowed four runs on six hits and walked five to go along with 11 strikeouts in the loss.
The loss for Kiihnl (14-7) was her first since losing a tight 4-3 game to Georgia Tech in the Coastal Carolina Tournament on March 19.
MTSU’s Caty Jutson recorded her fourth win of the year, going the distance, allowing three earned runs with five strikeouts.
Game Two: MTSU 3, Lipscomb 1
Kristen Sturdivant’s opposite-field home run and solid pitching performance from Ali Watson highlighted the Lady Bisons performance in game two but it wasn’t enough as the Lipscomb fell 3-1 to MTSU in the nightcap.
The game remained scoreless until MTSU got on the scoreboard with two runs on four hits in the bottom of the fifth inning.
With MTSU leading 2-0, the Blue Raiders extended its lead by taking advantage of a Lipscomb throwing error with two outs in the sixth to make the score 3-0.
The Lady Bisons would finally get on the scoreboard in the top of seventh when Sturdivant connected on her second home run of the season with a one-out solo shot over the right-field wall.
The Lady Bisons recorded just four hits against Middle Tennessee hurler Janele Robinson, with Sturdivant posting a home run, a double and a walk to lead the way. The Bartlett, Tenn., native was the only Lady Bison to reach base all three times.
Watson (2-2) allowed three runs, two earned on five hits with two strikeouts in the loss.
Robinson earned her second win of the year, allowing one run on four hits to go along with six strikeouts.
The Lady Bisons will be back in action this weekend at the friendly confines of Draper Diamond for a pair of key Atlantic Sun Conference doubleheaders.
Lipscomb will host first-place Jacksonville (28-12 overall, 8-0 A-Sun) on Friday with game one of the doubleheader starting at 4 p.m. at Draper Diamond.
Following Friday’s twinbill, the Lady Bisons will play North Florida (19-20 overall, 3-5 A-Sun) in conference doubleheader action on Saturday starting at 1 p.m. CT.