Lady Bisons are enjoying a successful Fall
Thursday, October 4, 2007

Oct. 4, 2007

The success of the Fall has Lipscomb softball coach Kristin Peck anxious for Spring to arrive.

The Lady Bisons hosted a Fall Classic on their Draper Diamond featuring local teams Belmont, Tennessee State and Middle Tennessee. The Lady Bisons finished 2-1 with a 4-3 win over Tennessee State and 9-1 against Belmont and a 6-4 loss to Middle Tennessee State.

The offense appears to be taking up where it left off last season with 23 hits in the three games. Kellie Sirus and Heather Collins drove in six runs apiece and Megan Rottler added five RBI.

Peck got long looks at sophomore pitcher Christen Campbell, the workhorse of the staff last season, and newcomer Alaina Jacobson, a transfer from the University of Missouri.

"Alaina is a movement pitcher," Peck said. "She is going to rely on her spins and her movement to keep hitters off balance. She has a great work ethic. She understands the game very well and what we are trying to do with each hitter. You want her on the field in big situations.

"Christen took some time off this summer because she did pitch so long. She needed a break. She has been having a great Fall hitting-wise."

Peck will have a four- person pitching staff for the 2008 season when everyone is healthy. In addition to Campbell, Kim Jacobson and Christy Grisham return as pitchers.

"It will be interesting to see how they all blend together," Peck said. "Kim is a veteran. She knows the conference well.

"Grisham will be a surprise pitcher because most people didn't see her last season. She throws differently than our other pitchers. She can also hit."

Jenn Allsup returns at catcher, but Katie Brokmeyer is also going to get a long look at the position as well.

"Katie has all the tools," Peck said. "It is a matter of how quickly she puts everything together. She has size and strength and those are things you can't teach."

With all but one player returning in the infield, Peck expects the defense to be even stronger this season. Rottler, a freshman, is expected to step in at second. Abby Keese and Rottler have both worked at shortstop and second.

"Megan is a very athletic presence in the infield," Peck said. "She is a hard, hard worker.

"Abby has taken the next step defensively. She worked hard this summer. She has a big role on this team, Offensively, we are going to expect her to put up some big numbers again."

Collins returns at first and Kellie Sirus and Campbell will play at third.

"I have no problems with Kellie defensively," Peck said. "Arm-wise she is great. Her reactions are quicker. She has looked better offensively this Fall. She has done some great things on both sides of the ball."

In the outfield the Lady Bisons have lost some speed from last season, but are deep in talent.

Freshman MacKenzie Tucker is expected to step in as a left-fielder/

"She is making adjustments everyday," Peck said. "In the spring she will be fine offensively. She has a great presence in the field. She is very vocal."

Lauren Dortwegt is a major force offensively for the Lady Bisons. She will return in center field.

"Defensively we are looking for her to take charge in center field and be more vocal." Peck said. "She has the ability to do that.

"She was very smart at the plate last season. Lauren's offense is going to stand out. She gets on base when we need her to do it."

Right field is the question mark with several possibilities.

Abby Craig was used primarily as a pinch-runner, but she has made major improvements at the plate.

"Abby has made tremendous strides," Peck said. "She is probably our most improved player offensively."

Katie Haab could make the shift from infield to the outfield. Either Brokmeyer or Allsup could spend time out there when not catching.

"We are looking for someone who can hold the fort down out there and offensively can get on base," Peck said. "That's really the spot that is most up for grabs."

The Lady Bisons will be back on the field Saturday at 1 for an Alumni game.