NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 26, 2010) - Sophomore Whitney Kiihnl tossed her fourth no-hitter of the season in game one, and Lipscomb broke the Lady Buccaneer hearts in game two on Mollie Mitchell's two-out walk-off single in the eighth to sweep ETSU in the Atlantic Sun Conference opener on Friday evening at Draper Diamond.
After being swept, ETSU has now lost eight straight and 15 of its last 17 contests and the Lady Bucs saw their record drop to 9-19, 0-2. Lipscomb improved to 22-7, 2-0 with the pair of victories.
ETSU at Lipscomb Game Two Recap
Senior right-hander Marissa Hardy (Rocklin, Calif.) gave the Lady Bucs all she could on her 22nd birthday, but Mollie Mitchell played spoiler as her walk-off single in the bottom of the eighth gave Lipscomb a 2-1 victory on Friday night.
Despite holding the league's top offense to only two runs in seven-plus innings, Hardy was dealt the loss (1-7), while Christen Campbell improved to 5-2 by limiting the Lady Bucs to one run on three hits in eight innings of work.
Lipscomb plated the first run of the game when Campbell worked a bases loaded walk in the bottom of the first - giving the host team a 1-0 advantage. However, Hardy bounced back and left the sacks full of Lady Bison runners when she got Mitchell to fly out to left.
After being held scoreless for the first nine innings in Nashville, ETSU finally manufactured a run to even the game at one thanks to Lucy Schneider's (Dade City, Fla.) RBI double to left in the top of the third.
From there, the pitchers dominated the game and kept their respective clubs in the contest by not allowing any runs until Lipscomb struck first in extra frames.
After Hardy kept Lipscomb from pushing any runs across the plate in the sixth, the same couldn't be said two innings later in the eighth. With two outs and runners on first and second, Mitchell was the hero for Lipscomb, as her single to left scored Courtney Billington from second to capture the 2-1 win and the all-important conference sweep.
Schneider recorded two of the Lady Bucs' three hits in the game, while Arielle Garner (Buchanan, Ga.) posted the third.
ETSU at Lipscomb Game One Recap
Whitney Kiihnl was nearly perfect as freshman Lucy Schneider (Dade City, Fla.) reached on a one-out error in the seventh and a four-run fourth was all Lipscomb needed to defeat ETSU, 5-0, in game one.
Kiihnl improved to 15-2 on the year after tossing her fourth no-hitter of the season. The reigning Freshman of the Year selection struck out 10 of the 22 ETSU hitters she faced. On the other side, junior newcomer Jessica Duncan (Ooltewah, Tenn.) suffered the loss (5-6) after allowing four runs on seven hits in 3.2 innings.
Duncan worked out of a jam in the second, as Lipscomb put the first two runners on to start the inning. However, the Ooltewah, Tenn. native settled down and retired the next three Lady Bisons hitters she faced to keep the game scoreless.
Once again Lipscomb threatened in the third, but Duncan silenced the heart of the Lady Bison order. With one out and runners on second and third, Duncan forced Abby Keese into a grounder to short, while inducing Kellie Sirus to hit into an inning-ending fly out to center.
After leaving runners stranded in scoring position the last two innings, the Lady Bisons finally broke the scoreless game in the fourth. Lipscomb pounded out four hits and scored four runs in the frame to take a 4-0 lead. Duncan's day came to an end after Mackenzie Tucker's two-out single plated Lauren Dortwegt for the fourth run of the frame. Senior righty Darci Gilbert (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) entered in relief and Tucker was caught stealing third to end the inning.
Again, the Lady Bucs did a tremendous job keeping Lipscomb from breaking the game open in the fifth. After Gilbert got Keese out to begin the inning, the Lady Bisons recorded three consecutive singles to load the bases. Fortunately, Katie Henderson (Jackson, Tenn.) flashed some leather on Mollie Mitchell's liner to third and doubled off Sirus to end the inning.
Unfortunately, Kiihnl was dealing in the circle as she retired the first 19 ETSU hitters she faced before Schneider reached on the error in the seventh.
Lipscomb scored its fifth run on two Lady Buccaneer errors in the sixth to come away with its 14th shutout of the season.
The Lady Bucs look to snap their losing skid on Saturday afternoon when ETSU takes on Belmont in a conference doubleheader. First pitcher is set for 1 p.m. (Eastern) at Aquinas Field.
For more information on Lady Buccaneer softball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.