April 14, 2006
The Lady Bisons softball team is glad to be home.
Saturday they face Florida Atlantic at Draper Diamond on the Lipscomb campus at 1 p.m. It is the first time the Lady Bisons have been at home since March 16 when they faced IUPUI.
"Coming back home is huge for us," said Lipscomb coach Kristin Peck. "We know we are going to be here the rest of the year. We know what we are dealing with.
"From an injury standpoint is easier to deal with things at home. They can heal a little bit. We will also be in the classroom. They can catch up."
Florida Atlantic (19-21, 6-4 in the A-Sun, is a perennial softball power in the A-Sun.
"They are just a very solid team," said Peck. "They have been a dominant team. They know they have that target on their back.
"They are very well coached. They are a very good hitting team and a very good pitching team. We are hoping to come out and play our game against them."
The Lady Bisons have played five straight conference doubleheaders on the road, with a 3-7 record against Stetson, Campbell, Gardner-Webb, North Florida and Jacksonville. The Lady Bisons are 13-25 overall.
"This has been one of the roughest schedules I have ever been a part of as a player, assistant coach, or coach," said Peck. "We have battled through it. We are dealing with injuries and a shortage of players on top of that."
"When we struggled we ran into some confidence issues. Overall I think it has been frustrating for everybody to be on the road for that long, especially with so many conference games in a row."
Like most things that challenge a team, Peck hopes the stretch of road games makes the Lady Bisons stronger as they head into the stretch run and hopefully a second consecutive berth in the conference tournament.
It was a late surge last season that propelled the Lady Bisons into the A-Sun Tournament.
"Last year the players thought they have something to prove," said Peck. "We haven't had that great of a start. We are trying to prove we are still a very good team. Now that we are back at home the players are feeling like they can finally get into a rhythm. We tend to play better at home anyway."
Injuries have been a constant problem prompting a continuous shuffling of the lineup.
"We haven't had one consistent lineup this year," said Peck. "The players have done a good job adjusting to changes. They have been moved all over the field and through the lineup. They have handled that very well.
"It is just a matter of performing. We are coming through a little bit more in the clutch."
Tuesday the Lady Bisons play a non-conference doubleheader at Draper Diamond against Austin Peay. They finish out the regular season with home conference doubleheaders against Kennesaw State (April 25), Mercer (April 30) and East Tennessee (May 5). They make a short trip to play rival Belmont on April 26 in Nashville.