NASHVILLE, Tenn. -Lipscomb softball coach Kristin Ryman is still waiting for her team to put in a complete effort this fall, but the bottom line is they are winning so she is reluctant to complain too much.
Saturday night the Lady Bisons beat Middle Tennessee 6-3 and 2-0 in a doubleheader at Draper Diamond, where fans got the opportunity for the first time to sit in the new chair-back seats behind home plate.
The Lady Bisons are 6-0 this fall with one doubleheader remaining Oct. 18 at Trevecca Nazarene.
“We are still trying to put that full effort together as far as every part of our game being there consistently,” Ryman said. “Some people say that is a negative right now that we haven’t seen that.
“But we are winning games right now, and we are winning games even though we still haven’t put it all completely together yet. So, from that standpoint, I would say it is a huge positive that we are winning even though this team still has a lot of room to grow. The new people that are here are really making an impact.”
Both games were eight-innings with the Lady Bisons batting in the bottom of the eighth in each game despite having the lead.
The games were a contrast with Haley Elliott and Kristen Sturdivant each slamming solo home runs. In game two the Lady Bisons speed on the base paths produced both runs in one inning.
“That’s what I am excited about,” Ryman said. “Everybody sees our power presence, but there is more speed on the team than maybe we have ever had.
“That is fun to me to be able to punch a ground ball and find a way to beat it out and get on base. It constantly keeps pressure on the defense.”
The pitching trio of Ashley Anderson, Tanner Sanders and Heather Parker continue to make progress under the direction of new pitching coach Paige Cassady.
“All three have shown the ability to do well, get outs and control games,” Ryman said. “We have seen so many positive things out of Ashley. She has been working hard and she still has a lot of room to grow.
“She earned the opportunity to start against Middle Tennessee and on Thursday against Tennessee State. That is a credit to what she is doing in practice right now.”
Sanders continues to make progress as a freshman. Parker, a junior college transfer, is also making an immediate impact.
“Parker throws strikes,” Ryman said. “She is pitching with a lot of confidence right now.
“Tanner is still so young. She has so much to learn. But her raw ability is incredible.”
Ryman likes the fact that the three pitchers each offer a different look on the mound for opponents to deal with.
“Tanner is going to be more up in the zone,” Ryman said. “Ashley’s pitches are going to be more down. Heather is going to be more in and out.
“That is what is going to make them successful is that they are different from each other. Paige is working on their strengths, but she also trying to make their weaknesses stronger too so we have even more options with them.”
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations for Athletics.