DELAND, Fla. – With each passing game Kelsey Cartwright gets stronger and stronger for the Lipscomb Lady Bisons.
“The thing with Kelsey is she is one of those hitters that even when she is not at her best she can still get great results,” Ryman said. “That is a great thing for me as a coach. But it is frustrating for her. She wants to get a hit every single time up.
“She knows that is not realistic. But she is always shooting for that. She has to grasp that she can still do great things at the plate even when she doesn’t get a hit.”
To keep her edge Kelsey never stops learning about the game.
“She is in her fifth year and she is one of the best hitters we have ever had in our program,” Ryman said. “But here we are in April and she is still learning things about herself as a hitter. If she stays within herself and attacks good quality pitches she is a hard hitter to stop.”
Kelsey will be counted on in the final Atlantic Sun regular season road trip for the Lady Bisons with her .360 average, seven home runs and nine doubles. They will be facing Stetson at Patricia Wilson Stadium. The Lady Bisons, winners of their last six games, are 34-9, 14-6 in the conference. Stetson is 29-8 overall, 13-4 in the A-Sun.
Due to the Easter weekend the times and dates have been altered. The two teams will meet at 11 a.m. Friday for a doubleheader. Saturday a single game will be played at 9 a.m. Times of the games are subject to change due to expected rainy weather in the area.
The Lady Bisons are 30th in this week’s NCAA Division I RPI, their highest rating ever. Stetson is ranked 49th.
The Lady Bisons hold a 13-12 advantage in the series with Stetson.
“Stetson is a team that is very comfortable playing at home, kind of like we are,” Ryman said. “They don’t play on the road very much. They know their park better than anybody so that is certainly an advantage for them.”
Coaches often talk about teams peaking at the right time. Ryman likes what she is seeing from her players late in the season.
“Our girls are ready for the challenge of playing Stetson,” Ryman said. “This is going to be a good battle.
“They hit. They pitch. They have good athletes defensively. And we do as well. Overall, it is going to come down to who can execute, who can make the key hits and who is going to make the fewest mistakes.”
The numbers: Both teams are close in terms of statistics. The Lady Bisons have four active players batting in the .300 range led by Paige Neely with a .387. Kelsey Cartwright is second at .360 followed by Rena’ Cothron at .351 and Brittany Elmore at .331.
Stetson has six players batting in the .300 range led by Jessie Tenbroeck at .390.
Meredith Owen is a double threat for Stetson. She bats .314 and leads the team in home runs with 11 and runs batted in with 36. She also paces her team with a .696 slugging percentage.
In the circle she is 17-5 with a 0.79 earned run average. She has 118 strikeouts in 123.2 innings. Teams are batting .191 against her.
“She is having a great year for them all around,” Ryman said. “She is one of the best players in the conference.
“She is their best pitcher. She is also their best power hitter. They have a lot of good players, but she makes them that much better.”
Ashley Anderson is 17-2 for the Lady Bisons with a 1.67 ERA. She has 94 strikeouts in 138.2 innings. Teams are batting .206 against her.
The Lady Bisons are third in the conference overall in batting with a .308 average. Stetson is second at .316.
The Lady Bisons are also third in pitching with a 2.54 ERA. Stetson is second at 1.72.
Feeling streaky: Brittany Elmore enters the Stetson series with a 10-game hitting streak, her longest of the year. She is tied with Kelsey Cartwright for the second longest streak of the season.
Paige Neely’s 16-game streak is the longest of the season. Neely has a new streak started with hits in her last three games.
Multiplier effect: Four Lady Bisons have recorded multiple hit games led by Neely with 15. Elmore has 14 followed by Kelsey Cartwright with 12 and Rena’ Cothron with 11.
Kristen Sturdivant leads the team in multiple-RBI games with 12. Kelsey Cartwright has 11. Sturdivant leads the Lady Bisons in runs batted in with 38.
National news: The Lady Bisons are 16th in the nation with a .791 won-lost percentage. They are ranked 29th in scoring with 6.02 runs per game.
They are ranked 43rd in both batting average (.308) and doubles per game (1.44).
Individually, Neely is 11th in the nation with four sac flies. She is 47th in triples with three.
Anderson is 28th in victories. She is 38th in shutouts with five and 44th in ERA.
Conference rankings: Overall in the A-Sun Neely is fifth in hitting and Kelsey Cartwright is 10th. Cothron is 12th.
Neely is third in hits (58) and fourth in both runs scored (41) and total bases (86).
Stetson’s Tenbroeke is third in batting and Meza is seventh. Owen is fifth in home runs with 11.
Anderson is fifth in the A-Sun in ERA. Owen leads the conference in ERA.
Anderson is also fifth in strikeouts. Owen is fourth.
Elmore is third in runs scored with 42. She is fourth in stolen bases with 19 on 19 attempts.