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3/9/2013 | Jacksonville, Fla. | Attendance: 179
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Friday, March 08, 2013
"We have met the enemy... and he is us"
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A scouting report on the Lipscomb softball team might not be all that useful to the Jacksonville Dolphins. But, on the other hand, maybe it will.
In an attempt to shake up her team in preparing for the start of Atlantic Sun Conference play this Saturday and Sunday in Jacksonville, LU coach Kristin Ryman has been working with some players in new positions. She is non-committal about how many, if any, changes she will make in either the defensive alignment or batting order.
“We have had the opportunity to work with several players at different positions this week,” Ryman said. “And we saw some pretty good things.
“Are there moves that we want to make this weekend? Or do we need to go with the lineups we have been using? There are so many different things to weigh. At the end of the day we have to score runs. And our pitchers have got to be able to throw their games and be able to trust that the defense is going to make plays behind them.”
It is the conference-opening series for both teams. Lipscomb is 7-9. Jacksonville is 14-7.
Ryman would like to go into the first conference series with a set lineup, but she also wants her team to win.
“We have to make sure we are making the moves offensively, defensively and pitching-wise that are going to give us the best chance to win,” Ryman said. “There are things we need to continue to work on.
“It is about raising the accountability for everyone on the team. Everybody wants to win. Everybody wants what is best for this team. Obviously, they all want to be on the field and feel like they have a major role in that. But with 19 players everybody is not going to be on the field.”
Ryman has high expectations for this team. One of her biggest challenges it get her players to believe in themselves, taking the attitude of the “Pogo” cartoon that `we have met the enemy…and he is us’.
“We have talked a lot about that,” Ryman said. “Hopefully, we have convinced them of that we have confidence in them. This is a very good team. They can’t have that doubt. They have to go all out.
“We have told them that so many times. But at this point they know that they are not making good decisions offensively or defensively. At this point it is just the matter of doing it. I believe they are up to the challenge and are ready to take those steps forward.”
Ryman expects Jacksonville to be a formidable test.
“They are really good,” Ryman said. “They are typically a strong team.”
Saturday’s doubleheader begins at noon. Sunday’s single game also starts at noon.
The new three-game series format will offer some challenges to coaches, especially in how teams decide to use their pitching staffs.
“I think it is going to be very different to play each conference team in a three-game series,” Ryman said. “In our league it is tough to beat a team once and it is even tougher to sweep a team in a doubleheader.
“I think the rivalries are going to be more intense. You are going to have a true winner in every series. We are going to know even more about each other. I think every team in the conference is excited about doing this.”