Friday, April 19, 2013
MACON, Ga. - Both Lipscomb and Mercer are in the hunt for one of the six spots in the Atlantic Sun Tournament. Wins this weekend are important to both teams.
So it is going to come down to one thing - who wants it the most.
"Mercer will fight and fight," LU coach Kristin Ryman said. "As a team they are not going to stop. They have a very scrappy team.
"No amount of runs is going to be enough. They find a way to hang around in games. Even when they get behind you can't ever think they are done until that last out. That has to be our mentality this weekend.
LU is 24-21, 11-7 in the A-Sun. Mercer is 23-26, 10-11 in the conference.
Brittany Elmore is the top hitter for the Purple and Gold with a .340 batting average in the lead-off position. Paige Neely is batting .313 with w team-leading 27 runs batted in. Kristin Sturdivant leads the team with nine home runs and a .553 slugging percentage.
Mercer is led by McKenzie Woody with a .439 batting average. Randi Rea is hitting .328 and a team-leading .679 slugging percentage. She is second on the team with 12 home runs. Krista Kennedy hits .322 with a team-high 13 home runs and 56 RBI.
"They have some players that have really improved offensively," Ryman said. "On paper they are putting up some of the best numbers offensively of any Mercer team in awhile."
Kerri Nidiffer has a 3.37 earned run average and an 11-13 record. Julia Rice is 12-12 with a 4.38 ERA for the Bears.
The Lady Bisons have a 5-1 record against Mercer for the past three seasons. Three of those wins have been on Mercer's home field.
"We are at that point in the season where every team has probably been worn down," Ryman said. "Mentally we have to stay sharp. We have to come out with fight and intensity.
"Both teams are fighting to stay in the top six. We have to understand that these games are as important as any that we have played."