NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It is a weekend of celebration for the history of the Lipscomb softball program, but the Lady Bisons hope it will also be weekend of victories.
Saturday afternoon, as part of the 20th anniversary celebration, the Lady Bisons will face North Florida in a key Atlantic Sun series at Draper Diamond at Smith Stadium. The Lady Bisons are 19-21 overall, 5-4 in the conference. North Florida is 24-21, 6-6 in the A-Sun.
The first game of a scheduled doubleheader starts at 1. A large number of former players and coaches are planning to attend the festivities which will include recognition of "Lipscomb Legends".
The Lady Bisons will be trying to bounce back from a nine-inning 7-4 loss Wednesday night to Chattanooga.
Paige Neely leads the team in hitting with a .367 average. She is the leading batter in A-Sun games with a .543 average.
Brittany Elmore is second with a .357 average. Baylee Williams is close with a .297 average.
In A-Sun games only freshmen Caitlin Plocheck (.440) and Abby Fenichel are in the top 10 with a .417 average.
Lipscomb pitcher Kelly Young is second in strikeouts (145), third in opposing batting average (.229), fifth in earned run average (2.86) and second in batters struck out looking (41). In A-Sun games only Young is second with a .239 ERA and is tied for first in strikeouts with 46. She is also first holding opponents to a .158 batting average.
Tanner Sanders is second in the conference overall with a .228 opposing batting average. She is third in batters struck out (103) and third in batters struck out looking (32). In A-Sun games only Sanders is fourth with a 2.51 ERA and third in opposing batting average (.208). She is tied for third in batters struck out with 34.
The Lady Bisons hold the all-time series record over North Florida at 13-8, including a 2-1 series victory last season.
SCOUTING NORTH FLORIDA:
Stacy McClelland, a transfer from Indian River State College. is the offensive pace setter for North Florida. She leads in batting average (.429), home runs (10), RBI (34), slugging percentage (.748) and on-base percentage (.521).
In conference games only McClelland leads the team with a .609 batting average with two home runs and eight RBI.
Two other players are batting higher than .300 – Shelby Duncan, another transfer from Indian River State College, is batting .395 with a team-leading 12 doubles.
Duncan is batting .487 in A-Sun games and leads the team in hits (19) and RBI (nine).
Kelly Wilson is hitting .314 and also leads the team in stolen bases with 26. Wilson is hitting .333 in conference games and has 11 stolen bases and also a team-leading 12 runs scored.
In the circle North Florida depends primarily on two pitchers – Kaylie Wallace and Kayla Goff. Wallace is 8-9 with a 3.05 earned run average. She has 76 strikeouts in 124 innings.
Wallace is 11-8 with a 3.29 ERA. She has struck out 79 batters in 110.2 innings.
Wallace is 2-2 in conference games with a 4.16 ERA with 19 strikeouts in 35.1 innings pitched.
Goff is 3-4 with a 4.48 ERA. She has 15 strikeouts in A-Sun games in 29.2 innings.
North Florida is 2-7 on the road.
National rankings: Brittany Elmore is fifth in the nation in NCAA Division I in stolen bases with .88 per game. The Lady Bisons are 18th as a team with an average of 1.83 stolen bases per game.
Paige Neely is 22nd in doubles with .38 per game.
Abby Fenichel has been hit by a pitch an average of .35 times per game, good enough for 18th in the nation. Mimi Cartwright is 34th. She has been hit an average of .29 times per game.
Onward and upward: Several Lady Bisons have broken individual highs or are a close to reaching new performance levels.
Neely’s 15 doubles are a new season high for her career. Fenichel has set a new all-time season record for being hit by opposing pitchers.
Elmore is on stolen base away from tying her season-high of 36 set in 2013. She is three away from stealing 100 bases for her career.
Brianne Welch has tied her career high for home runs in a season with six. She leads the Lady Bisons in home runs this season. She has set a new career high in stolen bases with 12.
Kasey Gibson has set new personal season highs for hits (five), runs (eight), at bats (20), games played (13) and games started (6).
Multiplier effect: Elmore and Neely are tied for the team lead in multiple hit games with 12. Baylee Williams has 10.
Williams leads the team in multiple RBI games.
They call it a streak: Elmore brings an eight-game hitting streak into the North Florida series which ties for the longest streak on the team this season.
She has also reached base in each of the last 19 games.
Caitlin Plocheck has an 11-game streak.
A freshman will lead: Plocheck leads the team in RBI in a game with eight at Northern Kentucky March 29.
She also holds the team single-game high in total bases with 11 set March 29 at Northern Kentucky.
Plocheck and Fenichel are tied for the team single-game high in home runs with two.
The Lady Bisons close out the series with North Florida with a single game Sunday at 1 p.m. The game can be seen live on A-Sun TV.