SPARTANBURG, S.C. – For the sixth year in a row, the Lady Bisons softball team will compete for the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament Championship, beginning Wednesday at 3 p.m. (ET) with the tournament opener against defending champion Jacksonville.
The Lady Bisons earned the fourth-seed in this year’s tournament, finishing 11-7 against A-Sun competition and 34-18 overall.
Junior Kelsey Cartwright, a first-team all-conference selection, has hit .548 with four homers and 13 RBI over the last 10 games. Redshirt freshman Ashley Anderson is 4-1 with a 1.80 ERA in that time.
Last Time Against This Weekend’s Opponents
The Lady Bisons split with Jacksonville on April 1, losing a 1-0 duel in the opener before rebounding with a 9-3 game-two victory. Kiihnl allowed only one hit, but it was a walk-off solo home run by Ronnie Gajownik to win the opener for the Dolphins in a game where Kiihnl picked up the only Lipscomb hit. Four Lady Bisons hit home runs in the second game, including a three-run shot by Haley Elliott. Lipscomb faced Jacksonville last season in the A-Sun Tournament, falling twice to the eventual champions including once in the A-Sun championship game. Overall, Lipscomb is 4-6 against the other participants in this year’s A-Sun tournament.
A-Sun Tournament History
The tournament champion in 2010, Lipscomb is 8-11 overall in six appearances in the A-Sun Tournament. Against squads in this year’s tournament, the Lady Bisons are 5-5 all-time in conference tournament play.
Cartwright Among Five to Earn A-Sun Recognition
Cartwright was named first team All-Atlantic Sun by a vote of the conference coaches, Tuesday. Kiihnl and Elliott each earned second-team nods, while Gracey Aguirre and Anderson earned spots on the all-freshman team. It’s the sixth year in a row Lipscomb has placed a player on the All-Conference team and the fourth year in a row with a first-team honoree. Kiihnl is now a three-time all-conference selection.
Quick Scout: A-Sun Tournament
Florida Gulf Coast, in their first season as a full member of the A-Sun, won the conference regular-season championship with a 14-4 A-Sun record; they earned the tiebreaker over Kennesaw State based on a sweep of Jacksonville. USC Upstate, one of the best-hitting teams in the nation, led the A-Sun with a .329 average at the plate and a 1.97 ERA. Led by conference Player of the Year Jessica Cross and conference first-teamer Sharon Swanson, Kennesaw State slugged 48 home runs as a team in 2012.
Mason Will Not Participate in Atlantic Sun Tournament
The Lady Bisons will be without the services of senior outfielder Caroline Mason, who is ineligible to compete for the remainder of the season due to an administrative oversight concerning her status as a full-time student during the spring semester. The error, which occurred midway through the semester but which was not discovered until this past Sunday, was an administrative mistake in calculating
the number of hours in which she was enrolled and not related to Mason’s performance in the classroom or as a team member. This secondary violation was reported immediately to the NCAA on Monday, and Lipscomb will continue to work with the enforcement officials until they have concluded their report.
Lipscomb By the Numbers
Kiihnl’s nine shut-outs are 20th in the nation, while her 22 wins (35th), 1.79 ERA (61st) and two saves (91st) also put her in the top-100 nationally. Cartwright’s 15 home runs are 29th-most nationally, giving her 0.29/g that is 35th-best in the nation. She’s also 49th in slugging at .723. Sophomore Rena’ Cothron is sixth in the nation in sac hits per game at 0.37/g.
Lipscomb Completes Regular Season by Sweeping ETSU
The Lady Bisons closed out the 2012 campaign by sweeping ETSU at Draper Diamond, Sunday. Kiihnl earned her season’s ninth shutout in the first game, a 4-0 win that gave her 22 victories in 2012. Kristen Sturdivant hit a pinch-hit home run in the second game and Kiihnl and Kelsey Cartwright added three hits in a 7-5 affair.
Split With Upstate Earns Lady Bisons Trip to A-Sun Tournament
A 9-1 game-one loss was offset by a 2-1 victory in game two against USC Upstate, Friday. The Senior Night victory assured the Lady Bisons a spot in next week’s Atlantic Sun Softball Tournament in Spartanburg, S.C. Kiihnl, who took the game one loss on the mound, went 2-for-3 at the plate in the second game to help freshman Ashley Anderson pick up her 11th win.
Kiihnl Named Academic All-District
Kiihnl picked up the first of what will be many academic awards, May 4, when she was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District III team by a vote of the region’s sports information directors. She is the first CoSIDA honoree since Kellie Sirus and Lauren Dortwegt in 2010.
If Lipscomb wins the tournament opener against Jacksonville, they will face top seed FGCU at 12:35 p.m. (ET) on Thursday. If the Lady Bisons lose, they will fall into the loser’s bracket and face the loser of the USC Upstate-Stetson match-up at 3 p.m.