Fenichel, Higgins are ASUN softball preseason picks
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
By Mark McGee
Fenichel, Higgins are ASUN softball preseason picks

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Lipscomb has placed two players on the ASUN Conference Preseason softball team for 2017.

Junior catcher Abby Fenichel and sophomore third baseman Sarah Higgins were selected for the 11-player team. Fenichel was a unanimous selection by the ASUN coaches.

“It is certainly an honor for those two and I think it is very well-deserved after the years they had last year,” Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman said. “I think it shows they are two of the most respected players returning in the league this year. And there are a lot of really good players returning in the league and they are two among those.

“It is a really cool award for them. Any success our individuals have is going to be a representation of what our team does. They are going to be key players for us. We need those two to have quality seasons and they are both capable of that.”

Fenichel was a First Team ASUN All-Conference member last season. Higgins was Second Team All-Conference and an All-Freshman selection.

Fourth place prediction

The Lady Bisons were selected by the coaches to finish fourth in the regular season. USC Upstate received six first place votes with 48 points. FGCU had one and had 43 points.

Kennesaw State was third with 27 points followed by Lipscomb with 26 and Stetson in fifth with 25.

“I think it is interesting we are all one point different from each other,” Ryman said. “I think that is the very nature of our conference.

“Upstate and Gulf Coast deserve to be up at the top because of what they did last year and who they return. From year-in and year-out our conference from the top team to the bottom is very, very competitive.”

Jacksonville finished in sixth place with 16 votes and North Florida was selected seventh with 11.

“I am not surprised with where we picked,” Ryman said. “We lost some key players.

“We are preparing (for the season) right now with a chip on our shoulders. I think there is a lot of anticipation that people aren’t expecting that much out of us this year. This team knows it has a lot to prove.”

Fans wanting to get a preview of the team are invited to attend the Lipscomb Softball Diamond Dinner Saturday at McQuiddy Gymnasium. Tickets are $20, which includes dinner. To reserve a ticket contact assistant coach Megan Smith at megan.smith@lipscomb.edu.

“I couldn’t be more excited about this group,” Ryman said. “We believe a lot in this group. I am anxious to get them on the field against other teams.

“It has been awhile since we have been in an underdog role. We have been one of those teams with a target on our back in the past. No one knows what to expect out of us and I believe this team is feeding off of that right now.”

The Lady Bisons open the regular season Feb. 10 at the Unconquered Tournament hosted by Florida State in Tallahassee.