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FGCU takes two from Lipscomb in road twinbill
Mackenzie Tucker
Mackenzie Tucker

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Lipscomb softball team gave up four runs in the first-inning of both games in Thursday’s doubleheader against Florida Gulf Coast and it proved to be costly as the Lady Bisons (22-16, 9-3 A-Sun) dropped both games to the Eagles (27-21, 10-2 A-Sun) at the FGCU Softball Complex in Ft. Myers.

Lipscomb fell 5-1 in the nightcap after losing the first game 14-0 in five innings.

Thursday marked the first time the Lady Bisons have been swept in a Atlantic Sun Conference double-header since dropping both games of a twinbill to Kennesaw State on April 15, 2007.

Lipscomb will remain in the Sunshine state as they travel to DeLand, Fla., to play Stetson (17-24 overall, 3-9 A-Sun) on Saturday. Game one of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Hatters will start at 1 p.m. CT.

Game Two: FGCU 5, Lipscomb 1

Similar to the first game of the day, the Lady Bisons found themselves in an early hole, trailing 4-0 after the Eagles sent nine batters to the plate, collecting six hits in the first inning.

Lipscomb starter Ali Watson (4-3) allowed four runs, however only one of those was earned as the Lady Bisons committed a costly error in the inning that led to three unearned runs.

Whitney Kiihnl came into relieve Watson with two outs in the bottom of the first and retired Chelsea Yates on strikes to get out of the inning.

Trailing 4-0, FGCU added another run in the second inning. After Kiihnl struck out the first two batters of the inning, she struggled to find the zone, walking the next three batters to load the bases. With the bases loaded, Emily Ranier was drove in a run via hit-by-pitch, giving the Eagles a 5-0 lead after two innings.

The score remained 5-0 until the Lady Bisons scored its first run of the day in the top of the fifth.

Caroline Mason drew a walk to lead off the fifth and then advanced to second on a fielder’s choice. After Mason advanced to third on a fielding error, Vanessa Medina singled to left to drive in Mason and make it a 5-1 game.

The Eagles edged the Bisons in hits in game two, 7-6 while each team committed an error.

Mackenzie Tucker and Medina led the Bisons with two hits apiece in game two.

Game One: FGCU 14, Lipscomb 0 (5 innings)

Florida Gulf Coast took advantage of seven walks and five illegal pitches en route to a 14-0 five-inning win over Lipscomb in Atlantic Sun Conference softball action Thursday.

The loss, snapped the Lady Bisons four-game winning streak where they had posted four straight wins via shutout.

Florida Gulf Coast (26-21 overall, 9-2 A-Sun) scored four runs in the first and five in the second to take a commanding 9-0 lead after two innings.

FGCU sent nine batters to the plate in the first to face Lipscomb starter Whitney Kiihnl who struggled to find the strike zone early. Kiihnl (16-8) walked four and hit a batter in the first and was called for two illegal pitches. With bases loaded and nobody out, Mariah Fernandez cleared the bases with a grand slam, giving the Eagles a four-run lead after one.

The Eagles extended its lead in the second, scoring five runs on three hits while sending eight batters to the plate to take a 9-0 lead after two innings.

With JJ Nelson into relieve Kiihnl, FGCU took advantage of a Lipscomb error with two outs to score its 10th run of the game.

The Eagles tacked on four more runs in the fourth inning, with three of them being unearned due to two errors by the Lady Bisons defensively.

Offensively, the Lady Bisons struggled to get anything going against FGCU starter Catherine McDaniel. McDaniel (13-9) allowed three hits and one walk with six strikeouts in five scoreless innings to notch her 13th win of the season.

The loss was Kiihnl’s first in conference play, who came into Thursday with a 6-0 record and 0.69 ERA in eight appearances against conference opponents.