Spartanburg, S.C. – Lipscomb scored five runs in the third inning to gain control of the game and went on to take an 8-3 victory over USC Upstate in the first elimination game of the A-Sun Tournament at Cyrill Stadium Thursday afternoon, ending the Spartans' season.
Upstate finished a widely successful 2012 campaign with a 39-13 record, having finished third in the A-Sun and earning the No. 3 seed in the A-Sun Tournament. Lipscomb survived to play another day and stands 35-19 on the year. The Lady Bisons advance to another elimination game on Friday, taking on either Kennesaw State or Jacksonville at 3:00 pm.
Lipscomb struck first in the game, plating five runs in the third inning. The Lady Bisons put runners on second and third with two outs when Kelsey Cartwright was intentionally walked to load the bases. Haley Elliott followed by hitting a 2-2 pitch through the left side to score a pair of runs and give Lipscomb a 2-0 lead. Mollie Mitchell made it a 5-0 game a batter later when she hit a three-run home run to clear the bases.
Lipscomb added to its lead with a run in the fourth inning to make it 6-0 advantage on Whitney Kiihnl's RBI triple to center. The Lady Bison's opened a 7-0 lead in the fourth on Kelsey Cartwright's solo homer to center.
Upstate began a rally in the fifth inning. The Spartans loaded the bases with one out, due in part to two costly Lipscomb errors, and brought Shellie Robinson (DeLand, Fla.) to the plate. Robinson grounded out to drive in a run and cut the Lipscomb lead to 7-1 and put runners on second and third. Hayley Reinfeld (Parkland, Fla.) followed with an RBI single to left to get the Spartans within 7-2. Cheyenne Griffin (Moore, S.C.) walked to load the bases with one out. However, Lipscomb starter Ashley Anderson got an inning-ending double play to end the threat.
Upstate attempted to further cut into the lead in the sixth inning. The Spartans put runners on second and third with one out, but Anderson got back-to-back ground outs to end the threat as the game went to the seventh inning with the Lady Bisons ahead, 7-2.
Lipscomb got a run back in the seventh to open an 8-2 lead. Upstate, though, continued to battle and Robinson led off the seventh inning with a solo home run to get the Spartans within 8-3. It marked her 17th homer of the season. However, the Spartans couldn't push anything else across and Lipscomb took the 8-3 win.
Anderson earned the win, allowing three runs on seven Upstate hits to improve to 13-6 on the year. Hannah Alexander (Lexington, N.C.) took the loss for the Spartans, falling to 26-7 on the year.