MACON, Ga. – After spending 2015 and 2016 in Ft. Myers, Florida, the Atlantic Sun Conference softball championship is returning to the Music City in 2017 at Draper Diamond at Smith Stadium as Lipscomb has been selected by the league to host the tournament.
"We are excited to have the opportunity to host again in 2017,” said Lipscomb softball head coach Kristin Ryman. “This is the premier event for Atlantic Sun Softball and we are proud to host it on our campus. Nashville is a prime location for an event like this, and Draper Diamond at Smith Stadium is one of the best venues in the conference. With a great support staff and field crew, we hope to provide an awesome experience for our softball student-athletes in the A-Sun."
The A-Sun tournament returns to Nashville, Tennessee for the third time as the event was hosted on the Lipscomb campus in 2013 and 2014.
"After hosting the tournament just a couple of years ago, one of the most common questions I've been asked by our fans and fans of softball across middle Tennessee and the A-Sun is, 'How soon can you do it again?',” said Lipscomb director of athletics Philip Hutcheson. “So I'm thrilled to be able to announce that we will be hosting the tournament again in 2017.
"The A-Sun is a conference that has started to develop a reputation as an up-and-comer in NCAA softball. For the past several years, we've had two, and in 2014 we had three, teams make the NCAA Tournament, so you can be sure the competition will be great.”
With a focus on great music, exquisite food and hospitality, Nashville continues to soar as a popular tourist destination and will serve as a unique experience for the student-athletes.
“You combine the on-the-field competition, a Lipscomb staff that is second-to-none in terms of logistics and hospitality and a city that is red-hot when it comes to tourist appeal and that is a recipe for a superb event,” said Hutcheson. "We are appreciative of the opportunity we have to host the tournament again in 2017 and we look forward to doing all we can to make the experience a great one for the A-Sun programs and the fans."
Coach Ryman has a different idea to the hospitality though between the lines as the Lady Bisons look to cash in on playing at the friendly confines of Smith Stadium where the Purple and Gold are 78-33 over the past five seasons on campus.
"Although hosting requires a lot of time and energy on the part of all of our staff, there are also a lot of perks to staying at home,” said Ryman. “Ultimately, our goal is to find a way to win it. To do it at home would be special because of our fan base.
"We are thankful to our administration for supporting our program and giving us the chance to host again in 2017."