JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Win a series or sweep a series and you might be on top of the Atlantic Sun world. Lose a series, or be swept in a series, and you may find yourself at the bottom of the standings.
There is little room for error for any softball team in the conference this season.
“We don’t want to settle for getting two-out-of-three,” Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman said. “That would certainly keep you higher in the standings if you get two wins in every series, but with a sweep you would get more separation.
“Every game down the stretch is important. No team, including us, has shown they are the team to beat. It is a constant roller-coaster ride. It shows how evenly balanced we are in the conference this year.”
The Lady Bisons will be spending the final four weekends of the regular season on the road, including three A-Sun series.
The next A-Sun challenge for the Lady Bisons is a trip to North Florida for a three-game series at the UNF Softball Complex. Lipscomb is 20-18, 5-4 in the A-Sun. The Lady Bisons have won their last two games. UNF is 15-20, 3-3 in the conference.
A doubleheader is scheduled for noon Saturday followed by a single game at noon Sunday.
The Lady Bisons are tied for second in the conference. North Florida is tied for fourth.
“I don’t think any one weekend is played up more than another,” Ryman said. “At the end of the day we have talked plenty of times about how crazy this year has been in the conference and how no teams have separated themselves on the top end or the bottom end.
“It could very well remain like that until the final weekend of the season. You could see a team in second place go to the bottom of the pack depending on how everything plays out. It is one of those years.”
Live streaming will be available on A-Sun TV as well as live stats at lipscombsports.com.
Scouting UNF: The Ospreys split mid-week with Florida A&M. Shelby Duncan leads in hitting with a .354 average followed by Navia Pendro at .339 and Katie Mandigo at .330. Duncan also leads the team in runs batted in with 26 and 13 doubles along with a .513 slugging percentage.
Logan Green is the leading pitcher with a 6-10 record and a 3.53 earned run average.
.300 club: Sarah Higgins leads Lipscomb with a .374 batting average. She also leads in home runs with nine, RBI (31), total bases (80) and slugging percentage (.696).
Brittany Elmore is batting .344 and leads the team in hits with 44. She also leads in steals with 19.
Abby Fenichel is hitting at a .305 clip. Destinee Brewer is knocking on the door of the .300 club with a .299 average.
NCAA rankings: Lipscomb is 51st in Division I with a 2.75 earned run average. The team is 59th in stolen baes with an average of 1.42 per game.
Kelly Young is 23rd in strikeouts per seven innings with 9.1. She is 24th in total strikeouts with 135. She is 58th in hits allowed per seven innings with an average of 5.32.
Kasey Gibson is 38th in sacrifice hits with .24 per game.
A-Sun rankings: Lipscomb leads the conference overall in earned run average. The Lady Bisons also lead in opposing batting average (.225), batters struck out (275) and batters struck out looking (85).
Higgins is second in batting average, trailing Racquel Fournet at .375. Higgins is also second in slugging percentage and total bases. She is fourth in runs batted in and tied for third in home runs.
Catilin Plocheck is fifth in doubles with nine. Gibson leads in sac bunts with nine.
Tanner Sanders is fourth with a 2.19 ERA. She is third with a .335 opposing batting average and in innings pitched with 121.1. She is also third in strikeouts with 105.
Sanders is second in strikeouts looking with 35. She is fifth in games started with 18.
Young is first with a .204 opposing batting average. She is second in strikeouts and first in strikeouts looking with 38. She is fifth in wins with nine.
Next up: The Lady Bisons will take a mid-week break before heading back to Florida April 16 and 17 for a three-game A-Sun series with Stetson in DeLand, Fla.