Steady outing from Thomas, usual big bats lead to routine win for Bison softball

Steady outing from Thomas, usual big bats lead to routine win for Bison softball

McCarley Thomas mowed down Golden Eagle batters from the pitching circle all afternoon as Lipscomb softball (26-9) defeated Tennessee Tech 7-2 in a non-conference matchup at Draper Diamond on Wednesday. Thomas gave up three hits in seven innings to the boom-or-bust Golden Eagles hitters. Tennessee Tech (9-20) is batting just .218 as a team this season, but 41% of the Golden Eagles’ hits go for extra bases, including 34 home runs. “You certainly don’t want to stay on one plane and just go in-and-out to a team like that or they’re just going to tee off,” coach Kristin Ryman said. “She was a good matchup for them, being able to mix planes and speeds.” Golden Eagle leadoff batter Aalia Bivens led the game with a no-hop double to the wall in dead center and scored on a squeeze bunt later in the inning. Later, Thomas faced 15 batters without giving up a hit until Bivens scored a home-run in the sixth. An infield single in the seventh and a pair of walks were the only other blemishes on Thomas’s eighth win of the season. Down 1-0 in the bottom of the first, the Bisons pushed across an unearned run on Caitlin Plocheck’s single to tie the game, then took over the lead in the second. Shortstop Peyton Ward singled, stole second, then scored on Abby Fenichel’s single. Then Lipscomb broke the game open—and chased Golden Eagles starter Kayla Hughes, who earned the loss—in the bottom of the fourth, a three-run inning capped by Plocheck’s two-run double, her second run-scoring hit of the day. The junior batted in three runs to bring...
Lipscomb sweeps Illinois State

Lipscomb sweeps Illinois State

Lipscomb baseball’s bats started to come out of winter hibernation as the Bisons swept the Illinois State Redbirds at Dugan Field in a weekend series marked by great weather. Lipscomb batted .326 in the series. The Bisons are currently batting .236 as a team, next-to-last in the ASUN. The heart of the order fueled the Bisons’ 10-8 win in the back-and-forth first game of Saturday’s doubleheader. Fifth, sixth and seventh hitters Jake Perry, Blake Thomas and Von Watson drove in nine runs on six hits, including home runs from Perry and Watson. Starting pitcher Brady Puckett was ambushed for three runs in the top of the first inning by the Redbirds, but the Bisons took the lead in the bottom half of the opening frame thanks to a two-out rally punctuated by Perry’s three-run bomb and an RBI single from Watson. Watson added a three-run shot of his own in the bottom of the seventh to tie his career-high of four runs batted in. It was Watson’s first homer of the season. “It was so good to see him come out and swing the bat well,” coach Jeff Forehand said on Saturday. “We really need him to use this game to get going at the plate. He plays a big part in what we are trying to do.” Puckett gave up two more runs in the sixth and was replaced to start the seventh inning by lefty John Pryor, who earned the win after the Bisons executed another two-out rally in the bottom of the seventh. Illinois State loaded the bases and scored a run in the ninth against...
Lipscomb hosts 2016 Special Olympics basketball tournament

Lipscomb hosts 2016 Special Olympics basketball tournament

Over 400 athletes flocked to Lipscomb University for the Special Olympics Tennessee Basketball State Tournament on March 10 and 11. Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organization for people with intellectual disabilities. Forty-two teams medaled in local and regional competitions across Tennessee to qualify for the tournament. The teams, made up of all ages from middle school to 71 years old, were separated into 10 divisions based on skill level. Four divisions were denoted as “Unified,” allowing up to two non-disabled partners to be on the court for each team. The round-robin tournament was held in Allen Arena, McQuiddy Gym and the Student Activity Center. Teams represented all parts of Tennessee, coming from as far as Memphis, Chattanooga and Hawkins County. Special Olympics Vice President of Sports Sean Stake estimated that there were at least 100 coaches and volunteers at the tournament. Christian Robinson, a former partner and first-time coach, led the Maury County Jokers to a second-place finish in the Blue Division. Robinson teaches physical education at King’s Daughters’ School in Columbia, Tenn., where many of his players attend school. King’s Daughters’ School is a special-education school for individuals from 7 years old to late adulthood with developmental disabilities. Robinson was a Unified partner with the Jokers until this year, when injuries pushed him to coaching. As a physical education teacher, he was used to playing with his team, but coaching was an adjustment. The Jokers led down the stretch of their final game— playing for the Blue Division gold medal— but turned the ball over multiple times in the last minute and lost by one. It was...
Gigliotti enters season as top prospect

Gigliotti enters season as top prospect

Michael Gigliotti came to Lipscomb as an unpolished speed-demon with a chance to make an impact at the top of the batting order. He may walk away as the most-decorated player in Bison baseball history. “Gigs” is carrying a host of preseason accolades into his junior year: three preseason All-America selections, ASUN Conference Preseason Player of the year, ASUN Conference Defensive player of the year and a spot on the Golden Spikes Award watchlist. MLB.com named him the 23rd-best prospect in the country and a top-five outfielder. What did it take for the centerfielder that couldn’t bunt and played left field in high school to become a top prospect? A fateful batting practice two years ago, a wrist injury and a busy summer. Gigliotti arrived at Lipscomb in 2014 after consecutive state championships in Florida under legendary coach Rich Bielski. But the first time he tried to lay down a drag bunt in batting practice, assistant coach Brad Coon laughed in his face. Coon was a standout center fielder and leadoff batter like Gigliotti but was an expert bunter. He played at Trevecca Nazarene University for Lipscomb head coach Jeff Forehand. Coon was drafted by the Angels in the 15th round of the 2005 MLB Draft and reached Triple-A before retiring in 2012. “Michael being the same player that I am really helped me help him,” Coon said. “I know what he’s going through. I know how they’re going to pitch him. I know what it takes to play at the next level for him. I know what people want to see — what he needs to improve in....
Moore, Ospreys end Bisons’ campaign

Moore, Ospreys end Bisons’ campaign

Conference Player of the Year Dallas Moore and the North Florida Ospreys’ array of shooters proved too much to handle for the Lipscomb men’s basketball team on Thursday night, felling the Bisons 91-85 in the ASUN semifinal at Allen Arena. The Ospreys were scorching-hot from deep all night, making 12-of-14 threes in the first half and 16-of-24 total. Senior Aaron Bodager and ASUN All-Freshman Team guard Garrett Sams drilled nine-of-11 from behind the line. Moore, Osborn Blount and Aaron Horne each added a pair of triples for North Florida, which led 45-32 at the half. “That was a tough mental hurdle for us,” Lipscomb head coach Casey Alexander said. “They played with great confidence; they got great shots; they buried shots. The hole that we got in was really tough to get out of.” Lipscomb did not lead at any point in the game. Though the Bisons keyed in on Moore — he scored 39 points at Allen Arena on Feb. 16 — the back-to-back ASUN Conference Player of the Year was able to find his teammates open behind the three-point line all night. North Florida head coach Matthew Driscoll lauded his star point guard’s ability to adapt to different defensive strategies. “He became more aggressive; he started going downhill more; he started going to the lane more to get into his floater game and get kick-outs,” Driscoll said. “Believe it or not, sometimes you have to tell these guys how special they really are.” Six of Moore’s seven assists led to made three-pointers. The teams traded baskets in the second half, with Lipscomb attempting to mount scoring runs...