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March 12, 20161234567RHE
Win: MILLER (3-0) 7.061112
Loss: SANDERS (5-6) 6.074227
HIGGINS (LIP) 301000
YOUNG (LIP) 301000
GREEN (LIP) 301100
ST.PIERRE (HOU) 222010
March 12, 201612345RHE
Win: SHRUM (3-3) 5.030002
Loss: YOUNG (4-4) 4.298514
HIGGINS (LIP) 201000
GREEN (LIP) 201000
ST.PIERRE (HOU) 312000
THOMAS (HOU) 312000
THAMES (HOU) 312200
March 13, 20161234567RHE
Win: SANDERS (6-6) 6.031132
Loss: BELL (3-3) 6.255547
THOMAS (HOU) 403000
Higgins has emerged as young leader for softball
Friday, March 11, 2016
By Mark McGee
Higgins has emerged as young leader for softball

HOUSTON, Texas – One constant for the Lipscomb softball team has been the play of freshman third baseman Sarah Higgins.

Blessed with natural ability to be a power hitter Higgins also has proven to be consistent at the plate.

Heading into this weekend’s three-game series at Houston’s Cougar Stadium Higgins has been one of the leaders overall for the Lady Bisons. Saturday a doubleheader begins at 2. Sunday the two teams play a single game at noon.

“She is coming through for us in a big way whether she realizes it or not,” Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman said. “The team needs that from her right now.”

Higgins is the leader with a .410 batting average. Brittany Elmore is second at .400. Destinee Brewer is hitting at a .393 clip, third best on the team. Higgins and Elmore are ranked sixth and seventh, respectively, in the Atlantic Sun and Brewer is ninth.

Higgins is first on the team in home runs with five and is tied for the lead in doubles with five.

She opens the weekend with a team-leading eight-game hitting streak, the second longest on the team this season. She also has eight multiple-hit games.

“Sarah’s average has taken off because of how hard she is working,” Ryman said. “A lot of the time you see freshmen come in and it doesn’t click right away.

“She is very coachable. Her discipline has really improved since the fall. She is in the zone. She is attacking good pitches.”

Lipscomb is 11-9. Houston is 9-10.

Scouting Houston: Four Houston players are batting more than .300 led by Katie St. Pierre with a .385 average. Elise Lebeouf has 14 RBI, the only Cougars player in double figures in that category.

Houston has used four pitchers this season. Shelby Miller is 2-0 with a 1.79 earned run average.

Lipscomb softball has several connections to the Houston area. Sophomore first baseman Caitlin Plocheck is from Deer Park High School. Former players Bridgette Begle and Gracey Aguirre both moved back to the Houston area after finishing at Lipscomb.

Lipscomb and Houston are tied 1-1 in the overall series. Both games were played in 2013 at Houston with Lipscomb winning 4-2 on Feb. 8 and losing 10-1 on Feb. 10.

A-Sun rankings: As a team Lipscomb is third in hitting with a .283 average. The team earned run average is third at 2.70. Lipscomb is also third with a .964 fielding percentage. The Lady Bisons are second with a .423 slugging percentage.

Higgins is second with a .803 slugging percentage and third with 49 total bases. Elmore is tied for fourth with 28 hits. Kasey Gibson leads with nine sac bunts.

Sanders is third with a .217 opposing batting average. Sanders is sixth with a 1.73 ERA. She is fourth with 73 innings pitched.

Sanders is ranked second in strikeouts with 67 and is first in strikeouts looking with 23. Kelly Young is third in strikeouts with 57 and second in strikeouts looking with 18.

Next up: It’s spring break week and the Lady Bisons are making the short trip north to Bowling Green Wednesday for a doubleheader with Western Kentucky scheduled to start at 5 p.m.

Lipscomb is back home at Draper Diamond at Smith Stadium for the weekend to open Atlantic Sun Conference play when USC Upstate visits Saturday. March 19, for a doubleheader beginning at 1 and a single game on Sunday at 1.