NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It is small class, but Lipscomb softball coach Kristin Ryman expects her two signees for 2017 to pack a big punch.
Caitlin Turner and Erin Doyle are both infielders. Turner has played primarily shortstop and second base. Doyle has been stationed at the corners most of her career, playing both first and third bases.
“Caitlin is kind of a jack of all trades,” Ryman said. “She is one of those players who is going to be able to come in and immediately contribute in a lot of different ways.
“She is going to be fun to watch because she plays the game the way it should be played. She gets after it, and she is willing to do whatever she needs to do to win.”
Turner is from Tennessee, having played high school ball in Greenbrier where she lettered all four years in both softball and basketball. She is the daughter of Vanessa and Anthony Turner.
In 2015 she was Miss Softball in Middle Tennessee in Class AA. In 2015 and 2014 she was named All-State by the Tennessee Softball Coaches Association and in 2015 she earned All-State honors from the Tennessee Sports Writers Association.
She has been a three-time all-district performer in 2016, 2015 and 2014. She was the District 9-AA Most Valuable Player in 2015.
Tuner has batted .513 or higher in her first three years on the varsity with a .580 high in 2015. She has stolen 148 bases so far in her high school career.
She throws right-handed but is a left-handed hitter capable of slapping or hitting away.
“The left side is not new to her,” Ryman said. “She has been getting better and better as a slapper, but has really developed into a left-handed hitter. She can be a dynamic hitter. She comes in with the skills to slap and hit away.
“She is going to be a threat on the bases. She has the speed and is an aggressive base runner.”
Defensively, Turner posted a .924 fielding percentage last season.
“She is a tenacious defender,” Ryman said. “She is very quick. She gets to a lot of balls.
“We anticipate her competing in both the infield and outfield at this point. She has a very strong arm to be smaller in build. She is a strong kid. She will be one of dirtiest kids on the field. She plays hard with a lot of energy.”
Doyle is from Moseley, Virginia near Richmond. She is the daughter of Kelly and Donald Doyle.
“Erin flew under the radar,” Ryman said. “She is that player who played on a smaller, more local team known for developing players on a different level of travel ball.
“We noticed her on that team. We saw some video of her and we were impressed.”
Ryman invited Doyle to a camp at Lipscomb. The coaching staff liked what they saw and Doyle made an immediate impression on Ryman.
“She fouled a ball and hit me square in the stomach (before Ryman was pregnant),” Ryman said. “She got really nervous about it. She was afraid I wasn’t going to like her.”
Doyle should not have wasted her time worrying.
“Erin is a blue-collar, hard-working kid,” Ryman said. “She is exactly the kind of player we want on our team.
Ryman says Doyle reminds her of Sarah Higgins, a third baseman and catcher for Lipscomb.
“Sarah wants to be the best,” Ryman said. “She is a perfectionist. She works and works. Erin is very similar.”
Doyle was Second Team All-State in 2016 and was First Team All-Region and All-District in 2016 for Cosby High School.
A team captain for two seasons, she has lettered three seasons.
Doyle was the Conference Player of the Year in 2016 and was First Team All-Metro,
She was named the team’s most valuable player in 2016 with a .525 batting average and the Offensive Team MVP in 2015 with a .449 average. In 2015 she was also First-Team All-Conference, Second Team All-Region and Second Team All-Metro.
“Erin is a big time power hitter,” Ryman said. “She is a strong player. She is going to be able to hit a lot of home runs. She is going to come in and immediately challenge as a hitter and a player on the corners.”
Ryman is excited about both players, but not only because of the softball skills they will bring to Lipscomb.
“They are both great students from great families,” Ryman said. “We talk a lot about players and how they will fit with the school and with the culture we have developed here over the years.
“They are going to be great teammates. They will make us better for sure.”