From Statesboro Blues, written by Willie McTell, sung by the Allman Brothers Band
The Lipscomb Lady Bisons have a couple of early morning wakeup calls this weekend as they participate in the Eagle Classic hosted by Georgia Southern in Statesboro, Ga.
Coach Kristin Ryman, whose team is 2-1 to start the season, doesn’t want her players to have any reason to sing the blues in their second tournament of the season. The Lady Bisons play Oakland Friday at 9 a.m. followed by Binghamton at 11 a.m.
Saturday they play Georgia Southern at 11 a.m. Sunday’s championship bracket times have not been announced.
Ryman admits she doesn’t know very much about the teams the Lady Bisons are playing. But she knows that morning games offer a unique set of challenges.
“For a 9 a.m. game we leave the hotel around 7 if it is close to the field,” Ryman said. “Breakfast is at 6:30 and they have to be there. We like to be at the field around two hours before the game starts. It does have a different feel to it, but as coaches we approach it the same way.
“The sun is not as much of a factor in morning games. So many of our players have played summer ball for years and they have played so many times in 8 a.m. tournament games. They love their sleep, but they have been through that so many times.”
After watching the Lady Bisons in game conditions for three days Ryman and assistant coach Lexi Myers are stressing the need for more attention to details.
“We aren’t as concerned about what these teams will bring to the table as much as we are with things on our end,” Ryman said. “We are trying to take care of the little details from our side of things. If we are doing the little things then the big things are going to fall into place.”
The Lady Bisons didn’t have a great number of hits in the three games at the Mardi Gras Invitational in Mobile, Ala.; but they won their two games with clutch hits.
“The hits we had were at crucial times,” Ryman said. “We executed bunts. We made key defensive plays when we needed to make them. We got big pitches when they were needed. It came down to those little things.”
The Lady Bisons had nine hits in their only loss, a 3-2 decision to South Alabama. They held South Alabama to four hits. The Lady Bisons had four hits in their 3-0 win over Western Kentucky and five hits in their 4-2 victory over SIU-Edwardsville.
“We had a couple of crucial errors that led to their first run,” Ryman said. “Alaina Jacobson hung one pitch that they capitalized on with a two-run home run.
“That’s the life of a pitcher. They work so hard in practice on consistency and hitting the corners. In a game situation a pitcher misses by an inch and it can make a difference. We talk so much about the little detail things for that reason.”
Ryman stressed the need to learn from the game and move on.
“The details have to be important to us,” Ryman said. “If we don’t make those details a priority in practice then we are not going to see that in a game.
“I have talked to a few of the girls about what they are thinking when they step in the box. Lexi has been talking to our pitchers about what they were thinking when they threw a certain pitch or what they were thinking at certain counts against a hitter. We want them to understand how big those little things really are.”
Ryman stressed there were a lot of positives from the weekend as well.
“We learned a lot from last weekend, but we have to keep it in perspective that it is early in the season,” Ryman said. “We are going to keep moving forward.”
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations