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Softball earns national notice after 4-0 start

Tuesday, February 11, 2014
by Mark McGee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb Lady Bisons 4-0 start to the 2014 season has quickly garnered them some national attention.

In the ESPN.com/U.S.A. Softball Collegiate Top 25 the Lady Bisons received two votes for inclusion.

In the Music City Classic at Draper Diamond at Smith Stadium Saturday and Sunday the Lady Bisons beat Miami-Ohio, Tennessee State, Virginia Tech and Butler.

“It is definitely an honor,” Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman said. “It is something we don’t take lightly.

“It is good to get that recognition at any point in the year. But it is neat to have a great start and immediately be recognized for it. The 2-1 win over Virginia Tech was obviously our marquee’ win. That is potentially turning some heads right now.”

Ryman sees the early recognition as a validation of the hard work of her players.

“It is exciting for us,” Ryman said. “We have worked hard to be where we are and to have a great start.

“We know how important non-conference games are. Traditionally, as good as the Atlantic Sun has been in softball, we are still working as a conference to get a second team into the NCAA Tournament.  There are a lot of years where we felt like we should have and we didn’t. We have been very, very close and we didn’t. That is a goal for the conference.”

USC Upstate received three votes for the top 25 in the same poll as the Lady Bisons. Ryman also thinks Florida Gulf Coast should be receiving more recognition

“Across the board the conference has had a great start,” Ryman said. “We are getting some votes. USC Upstate is getting votes. Florida Gulf Coast is right in the mix of teams that should be getting votes as well.

“That is a good sign for everybody in the A-Sun. It is also a good sign that it is going to be a very competitive, tough conference again this season.”

Later this week the Lady Bisons travel to Waco, Texas for the Getterman Classic hosted by Baylor University. Baylor is tied for 14th in the ESPN.com/U.S.A. Softball Collegiate Top 25.

Also on the schedule for the Lady Bisons in the tournament are Iowa, Drake, East Carolina and UAB.

“UAB is very close to being in the top 25,” Ryman said. “Baylor is a top 25 team. They are obviously your biggest possible wins. But just getting wins over top 50 RPI teams are big for us. We have to approach every game understanding the postseason implications.