NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It seems almost fitting that the Lipscomb Lady Bisons will be riding a wave of momentum into South Florida this week.
The Lady Bisons will play an Atlantic Sun doubleheader Thursday beginning at 4 p.m. in Fort Myers, Florida against Florida Gulf Coast. A second game will start around 6:15. The final game of the series and of the regular season will be played Friday at noon. All times are Central.
The Lady Bisons, 26-23, 11-6 in the conference need one more win to take second place in the conference and earn a first round bye in the Atlantic Sun Championships. They have won their last four in a row against USC Upstate and Kennesaw State.
Florida Gulf Coast is 23-27 overall, 5-12 in the conference.
RPI climb: The Lady Bisons continue to make a late season climb in the national RPI. This week they open at 64, up eight slots from last week’s 72. Two weeks ago they were ranked 81.
Lipscomb is one of four A-Sun teams in the top 100 in the RPI. USC Upstate is rated 41. Kennesaw State is 75th and North Florida is 79th.
National rankings: Brittany Elmore did not successfully steal a base in the series with Kennesaw State. She is sixth in the nation in stolen bases per game with .80.
Elmore has 39 stolen bases for the season and 101 for her career.
Abby Fenichel is 11th nationally having been hit by a pitch an average of .37 times per game.
Paige Neely is 23rd in doubles with .35 per game. She leads the conference with 17doubles and is one short of tying the school’s all-time high.
Pitcher Kelly Young is 27th in strikeouts and first in the conference with 196.
As a team the Lady Bisons are 33rd with an average of 1.61 stolen bases per game. They are 51st with a .968 fielding percentage.
Conference rankings: Overall in the A-Sun Neely is eighth in batting average (.380) and tied for fourth in hits (60).
Elmore is first in stolen bases (39), third in runs scored (45), tied for fourth in hits (60), 10th in batting average (.375) and 10th in on base percentage (.439).
Gracey Aguirre is tied for second in triples with four.
Fenichel has been hit by a pitch 18 times to lead the conference overall. Mimi Cartwright is fourth having been hit 10 times.
In the circle Tanner Sanders is second in opposing batting average (.224), third in strike outs (118), third in strike outs looking (38), fifth in earned run average (2.98), sixth in innings pitched (138.2) and tied for fifth in wins with 12.
Young is first in strike outs (196), first in strike outs looking (53), third in opposing batting average (.228), third in innings pitched (173.2), fourth in wins (14) and sixth in earned run average (2.98).
In A-Sun games only Neely is second in batting average (.492) and fourth in on base percentage (.536).
Elmore is tied for second in stolen bases (11), seventh in runs scored I18), tied for seventh in hits (27) and 10th in total bases (39).
Caitlin Plocheck is eighth in slugging percentage (.689) and on base percentage (.509), ninth in runs batted in (16) and 10th in batting average (.422).
Aguirre is tied for second in triples (two) and tied for fourth in home runs (four).
Fenichel is first in hit by pitch (seven), sac bunts (five) and tied for second in doubles (six).
Sanders Is second in earned run average (1.80), third in opposing batting average (.204), fourth in strike outs (40), fourth in batters struck out looking (12) and 10th in innings pitched (42.2).
Young is first in strikeouts (84), first in batters struck out looking (20), second in opposing batting average (.202), fourth in earned run average (2.90) and fourth in innings pitched (70).
Graduation turnaround: The games at Florida Gulf Coast are being played earlier in the week than normal due to graduation exercises at Lipscomb Saturday. The seniors on the team will fly back to Nashville Friday night in order to receive their degrees Saturday afternoon.
The A-Sun Championship is being played in Fort Myers with Florida Gulf Coast serving as host. The double-elimination tournament begins May 6 and continues through May 9.