Friday, April 13, 2012
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Midway through the Atlantic Sun season, Lipscomb softball will travel down the Boulevard to face Belmont at E.S. Rose Park, Saturday, for their only action this weekend. First pitch for the doubleheader is scheduled for 12 noon (CT). This will be Belmont's "Think Pink" game, and Lipscomb will join the Bruins in donning pink jerseys for the event.
This will be the final Atlantic Sun battle between the long-time rivals, with Belmont moving to the Ohio Valley Conference next season. Prior to last season, when the Bruins and Lady Bisons split their doubleheader, Belmont had not defeated Lipscomb since 2006.
Lipscomb dropped three of four A-Sun games last weekend, splitting with Florida Gulf Coast and dropping both against Stetson. The Lady Bisons rebounded Tuesday with a non-conference doubleheader sweep of Austin Peay.
The offensive pyrotechnics displayed Tuesday against Austin Peay gave the offense a boost. Lipscomb is hitting .265 over the past 10 games, with sophomore Haley Elliott (.312, three home runs) leading the way.
Last Time Against the Bruins
Lipscomb split on the final day of the 2011 regular season against Belmont. Senior Whitney Kiihnl threw a two-hit shutout in the first game and Caroline Mason went 2-for-4 with a homer and four runs batted in. Kristen Sturdivant collected three hits in the second game, but LU only had four as a squad in the 1-0 loss.
Bats Come Alive in Sweep of Austin Peay
After struggling at the dish over the weekend, Lipscomb softball exploded for 19 combined runs in a doubleheader sweep of Austin Peay. The Lady Bisons were paced by Mason, who went 4-for-6 with three runs and three RBI over the course of two games. Kiihnl and redshirt freshman Ashley Anderson each picked up victories for the Lady Bisons.
Lipscomb Struggles in First Home A-Sun Weekend
The Lady Bisons dropped three of four in the first home conference weekend of 2012. Lipscomb dropped both game one’s by 1-0 scores, marking four 1-0 losses in a row in the opening game of a doubleheader. The Lady Bisons rebounded against Florida Gulf Coast with a 14-5 thrashing of the Eagles, but struggled in game two against Stetson and lost 5-3. The Lady Bisons have now lost four home games, the first time Lipscomb has dropped more than two games at Draper Diamond since 2009.
Quick Scout – Belmont
The Bruins are 8-27 entering Saturday, but have a 3-5 conference record thanks to a sweep of Stetson and a split against Jacksonville. Sophomore Mia Vierra is the Bruins defacto ace, posting a 5-11 record and 6.10 ERA but earning A-Sun Pitcher of the Week two weeks ago. Senior first baseman Ashley Byers is the most consistent threat in the Bruins line-up, hitting .349 with six home runs and 19 RBI.
Belmont is 3-7 against 2012 Lipscomb opponents. As travel partners, Lipscomb and Belmont have played the same A-Sun teams, with the Bruins earning the aforementioned 3-5 mark. Additionally, Belmont has lost to Ball State (14-3, Feb. 24) and Marshall (11-7, March 20).
Lipscomb By the Numbers
Kiihnl and junior Kelsey Cartwright continue to rank high nationally in a myriad of categories. Kiihnl ranks in the top-50 in wins (17, 21st) and saves (two, 49th), while also posting high ranks in shutouts (six, 24th), strikeouts (164, 23rd) and ERA (41st). Cartwright is 26th in the nation in home runs with 11, and slugs at an .743 clip, good for 52nd nationally. Per game, she’s high in home runs (0.31/g, 31st). While she didn’t get many opportunities this weekend, sophomore Rena’ Cothron holds strong in the top-five nationally in sacrifice hits, moving to fourth at 0.42/g. At nearly a home run per game, the Lady Bison are one of the top power squads in the nation, ranking 47th at 0.86/g. The team’s ERA (2.20, 43rd) and win percentage (.639, 65th) afford them similar rankings.
Lipscomb kicks off its final road trip of 2012 next weekend, traveling to Georgia for doubleheaders at Kennesaw State (April 20) and Mercer (April 21).
Lipscomb Softball Online
Check back on Lipscombsports.com for more information on the Lady Bisons softball team, and be sure to like us on Facebook (Lipscomb Softball) and follow us on Twitter (@LU_Softball). For home games there will be a live chat, along with video and live stats. Select road events will have these options as well.