|March 30, 2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||R||H||E|
|Win: WALLACE (12-3)||7.0||3||0||0||1||4|
|Loss: KIIHNL (17-5)||6.0||2||1||0||0||5|
|March 30, 2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||R||H||E|
|Win: ANDERSON (4-4)||4.0||8||4||4||2||0|
|Loss: BROWN (4-6)||3.1||5||2||2||2||4|
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After a non-conference spring that produced a 20-8 record, the Lipscomb softball team begins the Atlantic Sun schedule this weekend with visits to North Florida (March 30) and Jacksonville (March 31).
Friday’s doubleheader against the Ospreys begins at 3 p.m. (CT) at the UNF Softball Complex, while Saturday’s cross-town doubleheader against the Dolphins is scheduled to begin at 12 noon (CT) at the JU Softball Complex.
The Lady Bison have been on a roll, hitting .313 as a team in their last 10 games. Junior Kelsey Cartwright has hit .467 with five home runs during that time, while senior Mollie Mitchell has rebounded from a slow start by hitting .414. Both Ashley Anderson (1.48) and Whitney Kiihnl (1.82) have ERA’s under two in the last 10 games.
Last Time Against This Weekend’s Opponents
The Lady Bison swept the regular season match-ups against Jacksonville (4-0, 4-0) and North Florida (7-0, 8-0) at Draper Diamond. Lipscomb ran up against top-seeded Jacksonville and lost twice, 3-1 and then 7-1 in the championship game of the A-Sun Tournament. Senior Caroline Mason hit .313 with three home runs and five RBI in six games against the Dolphins and Ospreys. Senior Whitney Kiihnl threw a shutout against both schools in the regular season, but suffered both losses to Jacksonville in the A-Sun Tournament.
Lady Bison Go 4-1 at Mustang Classic, Avenge Loss to Ball State
The Lady Bison went 4-1 in the final regular-season tournament of 2012 at Cal Poly’s Mustang Classic. Kiihnl went 4-0 with a miniscule 0.58 ERA, striking out 22. Junior Kelsey Cartwright hit .500 (8-for-16) with three home runs and eight RBI, including a five-RBI day in Lipscomb’s 12-1 victory over host Cal Poly. Kiihnl was stellar against Ball State, avenging an earlier Lady Bison loss to the Cardinals with a complete-game, 11-strikeout performance.
Quick Scout – North Florida and Jacksonville
- North Florida – The Ospreys are not a power team; North Florida only has eight home runs in 33 games this season. Three players are hitting over .300, including Alyson Bailey’s team-leading .314 mark. The pitching staff boasts a team ERA of 2.12, including Kaylie Wallace’s 1.15 ERA that ranks second in the A-Sun.
- Jacksonville – The Dolphins’ Sarah Sigrest is a front-line starter. The preseason A-Sun Pitcher of the Year, Sigrest is 12-6 with a 1.84 ERA and 125 strikeouts. Four Dolphin regulars (Melissa Morales, Kayla Ouellet, Amanda Schmidt and Meagan Balding) are hitting above .300.
North Florida is 1-3 against teams Lipscomb has also faced this year, defeating Long Island but losing twice to Ball State and dropping one to Jacksonville State. The Dolphins are 2-2 against common opponents, falling to Virginia Tech and dropping one game to Eastern Michigan, but defeating EMU in a later doubleheader.
Lipscomb Breaks into Mid-Major Poll at 24th
For the first time in 2012, Lipscomb earned a spot on the Mid-Major Top-25 poll, coming in at 24th and receiving eight votes. A-Sun rival USC Upstate (24-4) sits at 11th in the poll, while previous Lipscomb opponents South Alabama (15th) and IPFW (receiving votes) are also featured. UAB, which was scheduled to face Lipscomb in a March 15 doubleheader that was postponed and has yet to be rescheduled, sits at 14th in the poll.
Fact of the Weekend
The Lady Bison have not lost an opening-weekend conference game since 2009.
Lady Bison 55th in First National RPI Poll
The first NCAA Softball RPI was released this week, with the Lady Bison leading all A-Sun squads with a ranking of 55th. North Florida (65th), USC Upstate (71st) and Jacksonville (74th) are also in the top-100. Only four 2012 Lady Bison opponents currently have better RPI rankings than Lipscomb: Alabama (First), Mississippi State (39th), Virginia Tech (47th) and South Alabama (52nd).
Kiihnl Keeps Rolling, Earning Third ASUN Weekly Honor of 2012
Kiihnl earned her third A-Sun weekly award of 2012 thanks to her 4-0, 22-strikeout performance at the Mustang Classic. The senior tied a season-high with 11 strikeouts against Ball State, avenging an earlier Lady Bison loss to the Cardinals.
Lipscomb By the Numbers
The big weekend in California not only elevated the Lady Bison in the standings, but also on the stat sheet. Kiihnl picked up four wins and moved to second in the nation in victories with 17, behind Stanford’s Teagan Gerhart who has 20. Kiihnl is also in the top-20 in shutouts (14th, six) and strikeouts (19th, 133). Her 1.68 ERA is 59th nationally as well.
On offense, junior Kelsey Cartwright is a leader in power categories, ranking 17th in home runs (10) and 15th in slugging percentage (.862). She’s 61st in batting average (.414) and 71st in RBI per game (0.93). Sophomore Rena’ Cothron is second in sac hits per game at 0.54/g. As a team, the Lady Bison are in the top-50 nationally in home runs per game (34th, 0.89/g), winning percentage (36th, .714) and ERA (47th, 2.23). The .429 team slugging percentage (66th) has impressed as well.
Lipscomb will open the home Atlantic Sun schedule with doubleheaders against Florida Gulf Coast (April 6) and Stetson (April 7) at Draper Diamond.
Check back on Lipscombsports.com for more information on the Lady Bisons softball team, and be sure to like us on Facebook (Lipscomb Softball) and follow us on Twitter (@LU_Softball).