Whitney Kiihnl

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Kiihnl earns 1,000th career strikeout

By Mark McGee

Lipscomb Media Relations

It was Whitney Kiihnl’s moment as she earned her 1,000 career strikeout in win.

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Lipscomb senior pitcher and former South Panola star Whitney Kiihnl has been named the Atlantic Sun Pitcher of the Week for the week of March 12, the league office announced Monday.

Kiihnl entered Sunday afternoon’s game with MTSU at Draper Diamond needing three strikeouts to become just the third Atlantic Sun Conference softball pitcher to reach that milestone.

She struck out the side in the first inning and was given the game ball by catcher Mollie Mitchell.

“I think Whitney was completely unaware of it, which doesn’t surprise me at all,” Lipscomb softball coach Kristin Ryman said. “I don’t think it registered with her until she was back in the dugout.

“I can’t say enough about what Whitney means to our program and what she has done for us and what she is going to continue to do this year. She is the type of player we have been able to build around and really improve this program on for quite a few years now.”

Kiihnl, 13-3, would get the win for the Lady Bison against MTSU in the final game of the Lady Bison Classic. In five innings she scattered nine hits and allowed six runs, all earned as MTSU’s Nina Dever, Kaycee Popham and Kelsey Woodruff all hit home runs. Kiihnl also struck out five and walked two.

Whitney Kiihnl ran her record to 11-3 against Drake Friday. In seven innings she struck out 11 and scattered five hits. She hit one batter but did not walk a batter.

Saturday afternoon, in day two of the Lady Bison Classic at Draper Diamond, they pounded out 12 hits for an 11-3 win over Eastern Michigan in five innings.

Kiihnl had the big hit of the fourth inning and the game with a triple to left center that brought home two runners.

Kiihnl led the Lady Bison with three hits and three runs batted in.

“Whitney has the pop in her bat,” Ryman said. “She had a great day hitting-wise and really sparked us at the bottom of the order. That is neat to see. You don’t always have that spark in the nine-hole.

Kiihnl helped her cause at the plate, hitting .600 (6-for-10) with a triple, four RBI and two runs scored. Against Eastern Michigan, she went 3-for-3 with three runs batted in, including the game-winning RBI.

This is Kiihnl’s second weekly award of 2012 and eleventh overall. She earned the Feb. 26 award after picking up four wins at the College of Charleston Classic, three of which came via shutout.

Kiihnl and the rest of the Lady Bison will be back at Draper Diamond Thursday for a home doubleheader against UAB beginning at 3 p.m.