NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Fall is always a key time for development for the Lipscomb Lady Bisons softball team, but with seven freshmen joining the team the level of importance is heightened.
Coach Kristin Ryman has announced eight games and five teams are on the fall schedule. Six of them will be played at Draper Diamond at Smith Stadium.
Tennessee State visits campus Sept. 26 for a doubleheader. The time will be announced later.
On Oct. 3 the Lady Bisons will visit Belmont for a single game. They will also play Alabama-Huntsville to close out a doubleheader slate. Game times will be announced later.
Trevecca will be on campus Oct. 7 for two games starting at 5 p.m.
The fall season closes at home Oct. 14 at 4 with a twin bill against Vol State.
“This is definitely going to be an important fall for us,” Ryman said. “With seven newcomers it is going to be important for us to figure out where they all fit and what they are capable of doing. It is going to be a key for us to figure all of that out this fall.
“Everyone that is healthy plays during the fall. It is also going to be a key fall for some of our returners who are on the verge of breaking through that weren’t starters last year. It will be important for Kasey Gibson and Dee Baddley and Riley Brown, who is coming back from an injury, to have strong falls.”
While the games will provide an opportunity for Ryman and her coaching staff to see how the players perform in certain situations, she views practice as just as important if not more so.
“We really like the ability levels of our incoming freshmen, but they all have a lot of polishing to do,” Ryman said. “What I mean by that is playing at this level consistently and succeeding at this level are two different things.
“At the end of the day it comes down to who is getting it done consistently in practice. We love that mentality when players get after it in practice. They want to learn and they are going to get better. They are going to push other people and bring that energy. That will transfer over into games.”
The new players are Kiley Aller from Holland, Ohio; Destinee Brewer from Wetumpka, Alabama; Malorie Giere from Lake Elmo, Minnesota; Khayla Green from Powder Springs, Georgia; Sarah Higgins from Murfreesboro, Tennessee; Mandy Jordan from Camden, Alabama and Jenna Pealor from Newnan, Georgia.
“They have all played at a high level in travel ball or on state championship teams in high school but this is a different level,” Ryman said. “We have to get them in synch with what the expectations are and what it is like to play a full college game.”
Ryman says this year is similar to last year when three freshmen and three transfers joined the team.
“The fall is where we work out all the kinks and give everybody an opportunity to see what they can do in game situations,” Ryman said. “We will see different lineups at different times. We will see different defensive arrangements. All of our pitchers are going to throw.
“We want to go 8-0 this fall but the main objective is to make sure we are seeing everybody and making sure we are seeing what we need to see out of them.”