NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb softball program and coach Kristin Ryman announced the 2012 schedule, Tuesday.
The 55-game schedule begins with four consecutive tournaments. The Lady Bisons kick off the season in Mobile, Ala., Feb. 10-12 for the Mardi Gras Tournament, hosted by South Alabama. The Lady Bisons face Jacksonville State and Mississippi State, Feb. 10, before facing NCAA Women’s College World Series participant and 2011 NCAA tournament second-seed Alabama, Feb. 11. In the final day of competition, the Lady Bisons are scheduled to face host South Alabama.
In the 2010 NCAA Regional, Lipscomb came very close to upsetting the top-seeded Crimson Tide. Alabama defeated Lipscomb 5-2 in the Lady Bisons second-ever Regional contest, and eliminated the purple-and-gold 6-0 in the regional finals.
“We’re very excited about the challenge right off the bat,” said Ryman.
The Lady Bisons will open the home schedule with the Lady Bison Round Robin at Draper Diamond, Feb. 18-19. Lipscomb will be joined by Samford and Butler.
Lipscomb follows that up with trips to Charleston, S.C. and Kissimmee, Fla. for more tournament action. The Lady Bisons participate in the College of Charleston Classic, Feb. 24-26, before heading to Florida for the following weekend’s Citrus Classic at ESPN’s World of Sports Complex.
The Lady Bisons will return home for two weeks of games beginning with a March 7 mid-week doubleheader against IPFW.
Lipscomb will host its second tournament of the spring, the Lady Bison Classic, March 9-11. Coming to Nashville for this tournament will be Alabama State, Drake, Eastern Michigan and Middle Tennessee.
Lipscomb hosts two Conference USA opponents to round out the longest home stretch of the season when UAB (March 15) and Marshall (March 19) pay a visit to Draper Diamond.
“We’ve scheduled UAB the past couple of years,” Ryman said. “We’ve got a little rivalry going with them at this point, after facing them in the (2010) NCAA Regional. Marshall is coming to Lipscomb for the first time, so it’s a good pick up for us to be able to host another C-USA team.”
In the Lady Bisons final regular season tournament, Lipscomb head to San Luis Obispo, Calif. for the Mustang Classic, hosted by Cal Poly. Ball State and UNLV are set to join the Lady Bisons and Mustangs in Southern California.
“Those are three squads that are always in contention for NCAA Tournament bids,” Ryman said. “This will be the tournament we go to over Spring Break, and we’re very excited for it.”
After the conference schedule begins, Lipscomb has two more non-conference doubleheaders on the schedule at Austin Peay (April 10) and Western Kentucky (April 25).
Lipscomb begins the Atlantic Sun schedule with doubleheaders at North Florida and Jacksonville, March 30-31. The purple-and-gold will travel to Belmont (April 14), Kennesaw State (April 20) and Mercer (April 21) as part of the A-Sun schedule.
Lipscomb’s first home A-Sun weekend will be the weekend of April 6 and April 7. The Lady Bisons welcome new full-league member Florida Gulf Coast and Stetson to town for their first A-Sun road tests.
Following the April 6-7 weekend, Lipscomb will not be home for nearly a month before hosting USC Upstate (May 4) and ETSU (May 5) on the last weekend of the regular season.
If the A-Sun schedule goes as Ryman expects, Lipscomb will spend May 9-12 in Spartanburg, S.C. for the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament, hosted by Upstate.
“Our conference is always up for grabs,” Ryman said. “It’s been that way for several years. No team has dominated the conference in recent years. There’s a lot of competition in the upper half of our conference.”
The Lipscomb Lady Bisons wrap up their fall schedule Wednesday, Oct. 26 with a home doubleheader against Tennessee State.
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