STARKVILLE, Miss. - Coach Kristin Ryman’s Lipscomb Lady Bisons need a confidence boost and she can’t understand why.
“We talk to them all of the time about confidence and choice,” Ryman said. “You have to fake it until you have it.
“It is your choice if you want to feel confident or not. Right now, we are not acting very confident. And that is a little disappointing when you consider the amount of talent we have on our team. We truthfully belong in every game we play from a No. 1 team to No. 300. We strongly believe in this group.”
Saturday morning the Lady Bisons lost 5-1 to Western Kentucky in the second day of the “Bulldog Battle” at Mississippi State. A night game with Murray State was canceled and will not be rescheduled due to a delay in the start of the late games and a temperature in the low 30s with the wind chill.
“There was no sense having the kids out there when it was that cold,” Ryman said. “There is no need to get an injury in February.”
The Lady Bisons, 3-4, will close out the tournament Sunday at 2 p.m. when they face Mississippi State.
After opening the season 3-0, the Lady Bisons have lost their last four games. Ryman was still thinking about the Western Kentucky game long after it was over.
“We definitely didn’t play our best,” Ryman said. “Overall it has been a frustrating weekend.
“We are trying to find that spark. We are trying to find the leadership that we need. We have some girls that need to step up.”
It may only be seven games into the season, but the Lady Bisons enter 2013 with a lot of expectations.
“We have several players who are pressing right now,” Ryman said. “It is too early to do that at this point in the season. We are trying to make things a lot bigger than they are.
“We are making crucial mistakes that we didn’t make in the Houston tournament last weekend and it has costs us. We have to relax, go up and do our thing. We have to find ways to make things happen.”
Pitching and fielding are two areas that have not been as sharp as they were in the opening weekend in Houston. But the most disappointing area for Ryman is the hitting.
“We are just not hitting the ball like we did in Houston,” Ryman said. “We are struggling to get actual hits on the scoreboard. But we are also struggling in certain key situations to find a way to make things happen.
“That is where the mental side of the game comes in. You have to know that if you don’t succeed in a crucial situation once doesn’t mean you are never going to succeed again. It doesn’t mean you should start getting nervous, hesitant or passive. It just means that you didn’t get it done that one time. We have to stay composed and poised.”
As a coach it is difficult to challenge players to elevate their games without causing them to lose even more confidence.
“You want to keep pushing,” Ryman said. “There is obviously a lot of disappointment among coaches and players right now. But at the same time we don’t want them to be so down and frustrated that they take themselves out of the next game.
“We can’t continue on with the way we are playing. We have to find a way to get out of it.”