DELAND, Fla. – Once again this week Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman is spinning the roster wheel to determine what the starting lineup will be.
A few weeks ago Brittany Elmore moved from center field to second base. Baylee Williams shifted from second to shortstop. Destinee Brewer went to center field from left. Dee Baddley is in left.
But more changes are coming as the Lady Bisons prepare for this weekend’s Atlantic Sun series with Stetson. A doubleheader is scheduled for Saturday at noon with a single game Sunday, also at noon at Patricia Wilson Field.
Rain is in the forecast for Saturday. Check back with lipscombsports.com for details about the game schedule.
Lipscomb is 21-20, 6-6 in the A-Sun. Stetson is 27-18, 6-5 in the conference.
When Lipscomb does hit the field this weekend here are the new possibilities. Abby Fenichel, who has played the last two games at third base, may stay there with freshman Malorie Giere behind the plate. Giere made her first two starts of her collegiate career in the second and third games at North Florida last weekend.
If Fenichel returns to catcher then Williams could make another move, this time to third. Khayla Green, who started the season at short before an injury sidelined her, could also be an option at third.
It’s enough to make anyone’s head spin, but Ryman is taking a calm, business-like approach.
“I think it is tough any time you do it,” Ryman said. “So much of softball is getting people comfortable with their roles and being comfortable in different situations. So much of defense is instinctive.
“When you start shuffling players around, especially late in the season, they may be athletic and talented but if they are less experienced at the position they are playing they may have to deal with some wrinkles. We have spent the week getting players comfortable with new positions and making sure the people playing around them are comfortable.”
Execution is the key and with so much at stake in the conference each player has to find ways to be successful.
“Defensively, we have to stay in attack mode,” Ryman said. “We can’t get caught up with new players in new positions.
“We told them at the end of the North Florida series, and I emphasized it in practice, that we have full confidence in the people we are putting at each position. They don’t need to doubt themselves. They just need to go out and play.”
Scouting Stetson: Speed is the word for the Hatters. As a team they have stolen 99 bases, eighth in the NCAA and tied with USC Upstate.
Jessie Tenbroeck leads in hitting with a .352 average. Ashly Smith is batting .315 and leads with a .485 slugging percentage.
Brooke Hutton is the top pitcher with a 12-6 record and 2.35 earned run average. Tori Perkins is 9-4 with a 3.05 ERA.
Overall in the series the two teams are knotted at 17-17.
NCAA rankings: As a team the Lady Bisons are 59th with a 2.81 earned run average. They are 58th in stolen bases per game with 1.46.
Elmore is 47th in stolen bases per game with .56. Kasey Gibson is 50th in sacrifice hits with .23 per game.
Kelly Young is 18th in strikeouts with 157. She is also 18th in strikeouts per seven innings with 9.4.
She is 62nd in hits allowed per seven innings with 5.37.
A-Sun rankings: The Lady Bisons as a team lead the conference overall in earned run average.
Elmore leads the conference with a .381 batting average. Higgins, sidelined for the next couple of weeks with an injury, is third at .367.
Elmore also leads with 53 hits.
Higgins is second with a .675 slugging percentage and in total bases with 81. She is tied for fourth with nine home runs.
Fenichel is tied for second in runs scored with 32. She is fifth in doubles with 10.
Young is first with a .205 opposing batting average. She is also first in strikeouts and in strikeouts looking with 43.
Young is tied for second in complete games with 11.
Sanders is third with 113 strikeouts and second in strikeouts looking with 39. She is fifth in earned run average at 2.36 and fifth with 19 games as a starter.
Sanders is fourth with 127.1 innings pitched. Young is fifth with 117.1.
In conference games only Elmore is first with 10 stolen bases and third with .452 batting average.
Brewer is tied for seventh with four stolen bases. Williams is 14th with a .351 batting average.
Fenichel is third with 12 RBI and tied for third in home runs with two. Williams is tied for fifth with nine. Also in the top 15 are Higgins and Plocheck who are in a tie for 12th with six apiece.
Young is fourth with a 1.77 ERA. Sanders is eighth with a 3.54 ERA.
Young is first in strikeouts with 73. Sanders is third with 31.
Next up: The Lady Bisons briefly return to Draper Diamond at Smith Stadium for a mid-week game with Murray State from the Ohio Valley Conference. The game time Wednesday is 5 p.m.