NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It is one of the biggest non-conference rivalries for the Lipscomb softball team.
UAB, 23-28, is visiting Lipscomb, 25-24, Tuesday night at 6:30 at Draper Diamond at Smith Stadium. It is the final non-conference regular season game for both teams and the final home game for Lipscomb. The single game is the result of rescheduling after a doubleheader in early April was rained out.
“It is a weird week for us as we are right in the middle of finals,” Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman said. “We wanted to try any way possible to get the game rescheduled.
“UAB is really on a roll right now. They have played an extremely tough schedule. They have been playing well as of late. The competition will be tough. We want to come out and give ourselves a shot at the win.”
Ryman hasn’t settled on a pitching strategy. In the past two mid-week games McCarley Thomas and Mandy Jordan have picked up wins against Murray State and Tennessee State respectively.
Since the Lady Bisons are coming off of a long lay-off Ryman could decide to go with Kelly Young or Tanner Sanders who have handled the bulk of the pitching chores this season.
“We have some options,” Ryman said. “We could go with McCarley or Mandy and give Kelly and Tanner some rest. Or we could give Kelly or Tanner some game action before we go to Kennesaw.
“UAB has a gritty team that plays very hard. It is an opponent we look forward to and know will be challenging each year. We have a lot of respect for them. ”
Scouting UAB: Caitlin Attfield is the top hitter for UAB with a .367 average and a .444 on-base percentage. Mary Warren is the power leader with 10 home runs and 31 RBI.
Cara Goodwin has a 13-9 record and 3.39 earned run average.
UAB, from Conference USA, holds an 11-6 advantage in the all-time series with wins in six of the last eight games.
RPI: Lipscomb slipped out of the top 100 this week in the NCAA Division I RPI at 103. USC Upstate is the highest-rated A-Sun team at 54. Jacksonville is ranked 84th. Stetson is 115th followed by FGCU at 119, Kennesaw State at 124 and UNF at 142.
Hits keep on coming: Five Lipscomb players have recorded multi-hit games. Brittany Elmore leads with 16. Destinee Brewer, Abby Fenichel and Sarah Higgins are tied for second with 12 games each. Baylee Williams has 10.
Plo’s on the go: Caitlin Plocheck is tops on the team in multiple-RBI games with 10.
She also has the longest current hitting streak on the team with hits in her last 10 games.
A-Sun leaders: Elmore is second overall in hitting with a .386 average and first in hits with 64. Higgins is third at .364.
Higgins is also third with a .675 slugging percentage. Fenichel is second with 13 doubles.
Kasey Gibson leads in sac bunts with nine.
Kelly Young leads with a .208 opposing batting average. Tanner Sanders is fifth with a .240.
Young leads in strikeouts with 190 and is batters struck out looking with 47.
Sanders is third with 119 strikeouts and second in batter struck out looking with 41.
Young is fourth in innings pitched (142.2) and Sanders is fifth (140.2).
Sanders is fifth in games started with 21. Young is tied for fifth in wins with 11.
Fenichel is tied for first with 15 runners caught stealing. She is third in chances (399) and fourth in putouts (359).
National rankings: Young is 14th nationally in strikeouts per seven innings with 9.3 and 22nd in strikeouts.
Elmore is 32nd stolen bases with .62 per game.
As a team Lipscomb is 55th in stolen bases (1.45), 60th in earned run average (2.85) and 65th in fielding percentage (.966).
Next up: The regular season comes to a close this weekend on the road as Lipscomb travels to Kennesaw State for a key A-Sun showdown.
A doubleheader will begin Friday at 4 p.m. followed by a single game Saturday at 4 p.m.