FRIDAY, APRIL 08, 2011
Softball drops first doubleheader of season to Lipscomb
Lipscomb used two timely homers each game to secure a pair of 4-0 wins against the JU softball team in an Atlantic Sun Conference doubleheader on Friday night.

Two of the three Lady Bisons’ (20-14, 7-1 A-Sun) hits in game one were two-run home runs from Mollie Mitchell and Caroline Mason. Kristen Sturdivant added a solo shot in game two, while Courtney Billington hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning to hand the Dolphins (28-14, 8-2) their first doubleheader sweep of the year.

JU stranded eight of its 12 total runners on the day in game one, including six in the first four innings to have its 10-game winning streak snapped.

“This just wasn’t our night,” said JU head coach Amanda Lehotak. “We definitely had our chances, but were not able to capitalize on any of them. Lipscomb made us pay for our mistakes. We have to regroup and get ready to battle again tomorrow.”

Lipscomb’s Whitney Kiihnl (15-7) earned the game one win by fanning 11 batters and scattering six hits in seven scoreless frames. She closed the second game with two shutout innings after Ali Watson (3-2) struck out five batters in five scoreless innings to get the win.

Junior Sarah Sigrest (14-5) took the game one loss, allowing four runs on three hits and six struck outs in six innings. Sophomore Olivia Kline allowed four runs on five hits and four walks in six innings to get tagged with the game two loss.

Offensively, junior Kayla Ouellet had a hit each game, while Kline recorded two hits in the first contest.

In game one, junior Amanda Schmidt recorded a two-out double in the third inning on a hanging curve ball, but Kiihnl struck out Simon to keep the game scoreless.

Freshman Karson Tuck led off the fourth inning with a double and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by freshman Jacey Warner. Kline reached on an infield single and senior Kate Kelly walked to load the bases. Kiihnl quashed the JU threat by retiring the next two batters.

Sigrest retired the first 10 Lipscomb batters, including Breanna Thurman who had her deep fly ball to center field robbed from going over by Ouellet to start the bottom of the fourth inning. Bridgette Begle broke up Sigret’s no-hit bid in the next at-bat with a bunt single to first base, while Mitchell followed with a home run to left field to break the scoreless tie for a 2-0 lead.

In the sixth inning, Kline recorded a one-out single, but Kelly lined into a double play at third to end the inning.

Lipscomb doubled its lead in the sixth inning on a two-out, two-run homer by Mason, while Kiihnl pitched a scoreless seventh to hand the Dolphins their first A-Sun loss.

In top of the fifth inning of a scoreless game two, Kline secured a one-out walk from Watson. After a pop out, junior Brittany Eppley moved Kline to second on an infield single to third, but Watson got a force out in the next at-bat to end the threat.

Sturdivant broke the tie in the bottom of the fifth inning for Lipscomb with a leadoff homer to center field.

The Dolphins threatened in the sixth inning against Kiihnl as Schmidt reached on a one-out error, while Simon singled in the next at-bat. Much like the first game, Kiihnl worked out of the jam by getting a fly out to left field and strike out to end the inning.

Kiihnl pitched a scoreless seventh inning to secure the sweep for the Lady Bisons.

The Dolphins round out their trip tomorrow against Belmont in a doubleheader at 1 p.m. ET.