Softball celebrates 20 years of successes
Sunday, April 12, 2015
By Mark McGee
Softball celebrates 20 years of successes

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb Lady Bisons softball team held a special reunion for former players and coaches Saturday as part of a “Celebration of 20 Years of Lipscomb Softball”.

With the stands filled with former players and their families and friends the 2015 Lady Bisons swept an Atlantic Sun doubleheader against North Florida by scores of 6-1 and 2-1 at Draper Diamond at Smith Stadium.

They traveled from near and far from the Nashville area to as far as way as Florida and Connecticut. There were smiles, hugs, tears of joy and memories that overflowed the stadium.

Between games all of the former players present were invited to the field to meet with the current team members. Each of the 2015 team members wrote letters to the former players and they presented those to the former players.

After the games a dinner for approximately 150 people was held on the infield.

“I think this celebration was huge for our program,” Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman, celebrating her 10th year as head coach, said. “I think it shows hard far we have come.

“It was a very special day not just to recognize the alumni that were in attendance but the program as a whole and what it has done in 20 years.”

Ryman points to Andy Lane who started the program and former head coaches like Sherry Dickens and Amy Becker. She also gives credit to former assistant coaches Jeff Spivey, Andy Mankin, Lexi Myers and Amber Wood. Heather Collins and Mollie Mitchell as well as current assistants J.J.Dillingham, Megan Rhodes Smith and volunteer assistant Ivy Renfroe.

“All of them deserve credit,” Ryman said. “Some former player who had not been on campus for years were here to see how we have improved the stadium and to see the quality of players we still have here.

“For the most part this has been an incredibly successful 20 years. When you look at the second year of the program under Andy Lane they were making national noise. If he had not been as successful at the beginning I don’t think we would be in the situation to have done as well as we have in the NCAA Division I era.”

The Lipscomb softball legends recognized were:

Amy Becker

  • 1996, 1997, 1998 All-Conference
  • 1997, 1998 NAIA All-Region
  • 100-plus RBI

Rachel Mattson

  • 1998 NAIA All-American
  •  1998, 1999 All-Conference
  • 1998 NAIA All-Region

Erin Hall

  • 1999, 2000 NAIA All-American
  •  1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 All-Conference
  • 1997, 1999 All-Conference Pitcher of the Year
  • 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 NAIA All-Region
  •  1998 NAIA All-Region Co-Pitcher of the Year
  • Lipscomb's all-time career ERA leader
  • Lipscomb's all-time career wins leader
  • No. 2 on Lipscomb's all-time career strikeout list
  • Only pitcher in Lipscomb history with 100-plus wins (111)
  • One of only three players all-time at Lipscomb to be named All-Conference all four years of career

Emily Rauschenberger

  • 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 All-Conference
  • 1999, 2000 NAIA All-Region
  • 100-plus RBI
  • One of only three players all-time at Lipscomb to be named All-Conference all four years of career


Kelli Dobbins

  • 1998, 1999 NAIA All-American
  • 1998, 1999, 2000 All-Conference
  • 1998, 2000 All-Conference Player of the Year
  •  1998, 1999, 2000 NAIA All-Region
  •  1998 NAIA All-Region Player of the Year
  •  Lipscomb's all-time career batting average leader
  • Lipscomb's all-time career RBI leader

Jamie Gleaves

  • 1998 NAIA All-American
  • 1998, 1999 All-Conference
  • 1998 NAIA All-Region
  • 100-plus RBI
  • James R. Byers Award Winner

Kristin Peck

  • 2000, 2001 All-Conference
  •  2000, 2001 NAIA All-Region
  • 2002 All-Independent Team
  •  No. 3 on Lipscomb's all-time career steals list
  •  James R. Byers Award Winner
  • 2004 NCAA Woman of the Year from Tennessee

Kristen Tidwell

  • 2001 All-Conference
  •  2001 NAIA All-Region
  •  2002 All-Independent Team
  • 100-plus RBI


Danielle Catalano

  • 2003 All-Independent Pitcher of the Year
  •  No. 6 on Lipscomb's all-time career ERA list
  •  Tied for No. 4 on Lipscomb's NCAA-era career wins list

Sara Meek

  • No.5 on Lipscomb's all-time career ERA list
  •  400-plus strikeouts in only three years
  • One of only two players in the NCAA era to record over 200 Ks in a season

Heather Collins

  • 2005, 2007 All-Conference
  •  2008 All-Tournament
  •  No. 4 on Lipscomb's NCAA era career RBI list

Lauren Dortwegt

  • 2007, 2009, 2010 All-Conference
  • 2009 All-Tournament
  •  James R. Byers Award Winner
  •  Lipscomb's NCAA era career hits leader
  • No. 2 on Lipscomb's all-time career stolen base list
  •  One of only two players in the NCAA era to start every game of her career

Christen Campbell

  • 2009 All-Conference
  •  3-time team captain
  •  One of the best two-way players of all-time (Four-year starter at 3B and pitcher)
  • No. 3 on Lipscomb's all-time career wins list
  • 100-plus RBI
  • One of only two players in NCAA-era to start every game of her career

Abby Keese

  • 2008, 2009, 2010 All-Conference
  •  Lipscomb's all-time career HR leader
  •  No. 2 on Lipscomb's NCAA era career RBI list
  •  No. 3 on Lipscomb's NCAA era career hits list

Kellie Sirus

  • 2008, 2009, 2010 All-Conference
  •  2010 A-Sun Tournament MVP
  •  2009, 2010 ESPN CoSIDA Academic All-American
  •  Lipscomb's NCAA era career batting average leader
  •  Lipscomb's NCAA era career RBI leader
  • No. 2 on Lipscomb's all-time career HR list
  •  No. 2 on Lipscomb's NCAA era career hits list


Whitney Kiihnl

  • 2010 NFCA All-American
  • 2010 A-Sun Player AND Pitcher of the Year
  •  2010 NFCA All-Southeast Region
  •  2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 All-Conference
  •  2009 A-Sun Freshman of the Year
  • 2010 NCAA statistical leader in ERA (0.95)
  •  2012 A-Sun Scholar Athlete of the Year
  •  James R. Byers Award Winner;
  • Lipscomb's NCAA-era career ERA leader
  •  Lipscomb's all-time career strikeout leader
  • Only pitcher in Lipscomb history with 1,000-plus strikeouts (1,118)
  •  No. 2 on Lipscomb's all-time career wins list
  •  One of only three players all-time at Lipscomb to be named All-Conference all four years of career


Mollie Mitchell

  • 2009 and 2010 All-Conference
  •  2012 All-Tournament
  •  Lipscomb's all-time career leader in runners caught stealing (64)
  •  No. 3 on Lipscomb's NCAA-era career RBI list


Courtney Billington

  • 2010 and 2011 All-Conference
  •  2010 A-Sun Batting Champion
  • NCAA-era record for hits in a season with 75


Kelsey Cartwright 

  • 2012 and 2014 All-Conference
  • 2012 NFCA All-Southeast Region
  •  2014 Academic All-Conference
  •  Lipscomb all-time record for HRs in  a season with 18
  •  No. 2 on Lipscomb's NCAA era career batting average list


Ashley Anderson

  • 2014 All-Conference
  •  2014 Academic All-Conference
  •  No. 4 on Lipscomb's all-time career ERA list
  • Tied for No. 4 on Lipscomb's NCAA era career wins list

“It was extremely tough to limit it to 20 names,” Ryman said. “There are a ton of players who have meant so much to this program.

“They all have played their parts. I don’t think it would be right to celebrate 20 years of our program and not talk about the best player we have ever had.”