NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The weather has been a problem for most of Middle Tennessee on many levels, but it is has been especially challenging as the Lipscomb Lady Bisons softball team has battled and lost to ice, snow, sleet, rain and extreme conditions this season.
After being forced to reschedule Tuesday’s home game with Mississippi State the Lady Bisons are scheduled to be on the field at Draper Diamond at Smith Stadium Wednesday afternoon for a 3 p.m. single game with Southern Illinois.
The Lady Bisons have not played since March 3 when a doubleheader at UAB was called after the first game due to rainy conditions. Since then they have been forced to reschedule games with both Tennessee Tech and Mississippi State.
Injuries have been an issue for the Lady Bisons. Laura Dukes is sidelined and her return time is uncertain.
There have been a number of adjustments in the starting lineups so far this season.
Only second baseman Baylee Williams, shortstop Paige Neely and center fielder Brittany Elmore have played all 18 games at the same position.
Elmore in the No. 1 spot and Neely at No. 2 are the only two players who have not been shifted in their positions in the batting order.
Southern Illinois, from the Missouri Valley Conference, is 5-9-1. They are 5-8-1 in neutral field games and 0-1 in away games. They have not played a game at home yet this season.
The Salukis are making a stop in Nashville after playing three games in Florida. Monday they lost to Creighton 3-1 and then beat Bucknell 8-1. They finished the Florida trip with a 2-1 record.
The Lady Bisons are 8-10 and 6-1 at home.
This is the first meeting between the two teams in softball.
SCOUTING SOUTHERN ILLINOIS:
The Salukis have two batters hitting above the .300 level. Savannah Fisher leads the team with a .313 average. Sydney Jones is batting .302 leads the team with 11 RBI.
Katie Bertelsen leads the pitching staff with a 3-4 record and a 4.77 earned run average. She has 29 strikeouts in 58.2 innings.
- Brittany Elmore leads the Lady Bisons in multi-hit games with five. She has a four-hit game against Oklahoma State Feb. 13, a single game high for a Lipscomb player this season.
- Baylee Williams and Abby Fenichel each have a four-RBI game. Fenichel drove in four runs against Missouri-Kansas City Feb. 6. Williams, who has hit the only grand slam of the season for the Lady Bisons, had four runs against UAB March 3.
Williams leads the Lady Bisons with 10 RBI.
- Elmore, 14-14 in stolen bases, is second in the A-Sun in that category and 21st in the nation with an average of .78 per game. Her three stolen bases against Akron Feb. 28 are a team single-game high this season.
- Kelly Young is tied for second in the A-Sun in strikeouts with 57. Tanner Sanders is fifth in the conference with 48.
The Lady Bisons travel to Raleigh, North Carolina Friday, Saturday and Sunday for the Hyatt Place Invitational hosted by North Carolina State.
They will face Missouri and North Carolina State Friday. Saturday they open the day with Longwood and close with Binghamton.
Sunday they will play Fordham in a single game.
This is the last regular season tournament for the Lady Bisons.