Softball set for A-Sun road series with NKU
Friday, March 27, 2015
By Mark McGee
Softball set for A-Sun road series with NKU

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – Mother Nature has turned down the thermostat once again, but there is still softball to be played this weekend.

With a predicted high of no more than 40 for Saturday the series schedule between the Lipscomb Lady Bisons and the Northern Kentucky Norse.

Instead of a doubleheader Saturday the two teams will meet in a single game at noon CT. Sunday, with temperatures expected to be in the mid-50s, a doubleheader will start at 11 a.m. CT. Saturday’s game will be shown live on ASun TV. The games will be played at the Grein Softball Field.

The Lady Bisons are coming off a doubleheader split with Western Kentucky. They are 13-17 overall, 1-2 in the A-Sun.

Northern Kentucky lost two of three games to Florida Gulf Coast last weekend on the road. The Norse are 4-16 overall, 1-2 in the conference.

The Lady Bisons, making their first A-Sun road trip of the season, are 6-0 overall in the brief history of the series.

Paige Neely leads the Lady Bisons in hitting with a .363 average followed by Brittany Elmore at .319. Baylee Williams is knocking on the door of a .300 average batting .299.

Neely leads the team in hits (33) and doubles (11). Williams leads the team with 21 runs batted in.

Kelly Young, 7-9, heads into the weekend with a 3.21 earned run average and 100 strikeouts in 102.1 innings.

Tanner Sanders, 6-8, has a 4.15 ERA. She has struck out 69 batters in 84.1 innings.

SCOUTING NORTHERN KENTUCKY:

Two players are batting over .300 with Dani Develin leading the way at .392. She also leads the team in home runs (6), RBI (18), runs (14) and slugging percentage (.843).

Kate Bartolovich is batting .320.

In the circle Ashlynn Roberts is 2-7 with a 7.60 earned run average. Alex Caudill is 2-4 with a 7.99 ERA. Kelley Benhase is 0-1 with a 5.92 ERA.

The 2-0 shutout of Florida Gulf Coast was the first A-Sun win of the season for the Norse. They only had one conference win for the season in 2014.

QUICK HITS:

It takes a thief:  Brittany Elmore is fifth in the nation in stolen bases with an average of .90 per game. The Lady Bisons, as a team, are 16th in the nation in stolen bases with 2.03 per game.

Elmore is first overall in the A-Sun in stolen bases with 27. She also leads the conference in attempts with 28.

She has already surpassed last year’s season total of 26. She set a season and school career record as a freshman with 36 stolen bases.

The Lady Bisons are tied with Florida Gulf Coast for the conference lead in stolen bases with 60.

Brianne Welch is tied for fifth overall in the conference with 12 stolen bases. The stolen base total shatters her career high of eight set last season.

Neely seeing doubles: Neely is second in the conference overall in doubles with 11. She is 37th in the country with an average of .37 per game.

Pitchers are striking: Young, Sanders and Thomas have combined for 175 strikeouts to lead the A-Sun.

Opposing teams have a combined .254 batting average against Lipscomb’s pitchers, the third best in the conference.

Young is second in the conference overall in strikeouts. Sanders is fifth. Young is second in strikeouts looking with 29. Sanders is tied for seventh with 21.

Young is third in innings pitched, tied for fourth in appearances (21), fourth in opposing batting average (.246), tied for fourth in games finished (7), tied for seventh in wins (7), tied for seventh in games started (14) and eighth in relief appearances (7).

Sanders is fourth in games started (16) and tied for seventh in innings pitched (84.1).

Touching base: Neely has reached base the past 10 games in a row, the longest streak on the team. Elmore has reached base nine straight games.

Not regulation: The Lady Bisons are 1-3 in extra -inning games. The lone win is against Dayton, 3-2 March 1.

The Lady Bisons are 4-5 in games called in the fifth or sixth inning. One of the losses, a 3-0 decision at UAB was called after 5.1 innings due to weather.

ON DECK:

The Lady Bisons welcome Mississippi State from the Southeastern Conference for a single game Tuesday at 4 p.m.  at Draper Diamond at Smith Stadium.