Softball doubleheader with UAB is postponed
Tuesday, April 5, 2016
By Mark McGee
Softball doubleheader with UAB is postponed

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The only thing closer in the Atlantic Sun Conference than the race for the regular season championship is the battle for the No. 1 spot overall in hitting.

One point separates the top two overall hitters in the Atlantic Sun Conference. Racquel Fournet from Florida Gulf Coast opens the week batting .375. Lipscomb’s Sarah Higgins is hitting at a .374 clip.

The most interesting aspect of the situation is that both of them are freshmen.

“To me this is cool,” Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman said. “This conference graduated so many great hitters last year from a lot of teams.

“Obviously, the expectation was that teams were going be bringing in freshmen that could help them right away.  To be playing at this point in the season with two freshmen leading the conference in batting average says a lot about the caliber of freshmen in our conference and what the future is going to hold for the conference.”

The Lady Bisons were planning to play a doubleheader Wednesday night at Draper Diamond at Smith Stadium against UAB from Conference USA. But the doubleheader has been postponed due to expected storms and wind. A make-up date is being discussed.

Lipscomb will hit the road for the final three A-Sun series on the schedule. They travel to Jacksonville, Florida this weekend for a doubleheader Saturday at noon against North Florida and a single game Sunday at noon.

“The conference is so close,” Ryman said. “We have said it from day one that I don’t know of any team that is going to run away with it. You can’t assume you are going to sweep or win a series.”

RPI report: Lipscomb dropped to 101 in this week’s RPI.

USC Upstate continues to be the top-rated team from the A-Sun at No. 65.

Three other teams from the A-Sun are knocking on the door of the top 100. Kennesaw State is 102 followed by Jacksonville at 103. Stetson is at 107.

National rankings:  Lipscomb is 50th with a 2.75 earned run average. The Lady Bisons are averaging 1.42 stolen bases per game, 61st in the nation.

Kelly Young is 21st in strikeouts and 23rd in strikeouts per seven innings with 9.1.

Kasey Gibson is 44th in sacrifice hits per game with .24.

A-Sun rankings: Lipscomb leads the conference overall in earned run average, strikeouts with 275 and batters struck out looking with 85.

Higgins is second in hitting, slugging percentage (.696) and total bases (80). She is tied for third in home runs with nine and fourth in runs batted in with 31.

Gibson leads in sac bunts with nine. Brittany Elmore is third in hits with 44. Caitlin Plocheck is fifth in doubles with nine.

Tanner Sanders is fourth in earned run average (2.19) and opposing batting average (.225). She is third in strikeouts (105) and in innings pitched (121.1).

Young has the lowest overall opposing batting average in the conference (.204).

She is second in strikeouts with 135.

Young is first in batters struck out looking with 38. Sanders is second with 35.

Multiplier effect: Higgins leads the team with 12 multiple-hit games. Destinee Brewer and Elmore are tied for second with 10 apiece.

Higgins also leads with multiple-RBI games with nine. Plocheck has three games this season with four runs batted in.

They call it a streak: Elmore has at least one hit in the last eight games, one short of her season high of nine game.

The longest streak of the season belongs to Higgins with 14 straight. She is out to start a new streak.

Abby Fenichel has reached base in the last nine games, a current team high.