NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Lipscomb Lady Bisons are at home for an ASUN Conference series for the first time this season. Stetson is playing its first true road games of the season.
The burning questions are will the Lady Bisons, who have not lost in 12 games at home, continue their perfect streak? Or will Stetson shake off the drudgeries of travel and be ready to perform in a new setting?
“We have played well here,” Lipscomb coach Kristin Ryman said. “We haven’t always gotten off to the best starts here, but have found ways to win at home.
“I don’t know how much playing their first true road games will factor in for Stetson. They are well-coached. They play hard. They will be ready to go.”
Game time for the first game in Saturday’s doubleheader at Draper Diamond at Smith Stadium is 1 p.m. A single game scheduled for Sunday will start at 11 a.m. Both games of the doubleheader will be televised on ESPN3.
“This is a great home for us,” Ryman said. “We are well-supported. We have a great facility. It makes it a nice setting.
“The girls are excited to play at home. We love our field.”
Lipscomb is 27-11 overall, 3-3 in the ASUN. Stetson is 23-9, 1-2 in the conference.
Stetson holds a 20-18 lead in the overall series and is 5-2 in the last games it has played at Lipscomb.
No doubt the Lady Bisons want to sweep the weekend, but Ryman also wants to see her team get back on track offensively.
“We have continued to struggle putting quality at bats together last weekend at Jacksonville,” Ryman said. “That is one of the biggest things we are looking for. At times we can overanalyze. We just want them to step back and look at a good pitch to drive.
“We have talked a lot lately about not thinking so much at the plate. We have compelling athletes in our lineup and they want to find ways to beat you as a pitcher and ways to hit the ball solid.”
Ryman is expecting catcher Abby Fenichel to be challenged. Stetson, led by Jessie TenBroeck with 37 steals (third nationally), has posted 102 steals as a team.
“They run and they run well,” Ryman said. “They are going to force the issue until you show them you can throw them out.
“This is going to be a test for Abby. I know she is going to be ready. She likes to be challenged by teams that want to run.”
Walk on by: Both Lipscomb and Stetson have been picky at the plate. Stetson leads the conference in walks with 135. The Lady Bisons are second with 111.
Sarah Higgins leads Lipscomb with 21 free passes. Khayla Green has 20. Linda Ross leads Stetson with 22.
Jordan rolls on: Overall Lipscomb pitcher Mandy Jordan is first in strikeouts with 181, strikeouts swinging with 46, wins with 17, games started with 21 and innings pitched with 151.
She is second with a 1.30 earned run average. She is third with a .199 opposing batting average.
In ASUN games only she is second with a .194 opposing batting average and tied for second in strikeouts with 22. Jordan is third in innings pitched with 28.2, tied for sixth with two batters struck out looking and seventh with a 1.47 earned run average.
Going with the Plo: Caitlin Plocheck leads the Lady Bisons with a .341 batting average, home runs (seven), doubles (12), RBI (23), hits (45) and slugging percentage (.591).
She is second overall in the conference in doubles and tied for second in home runs. She is third in total bases with 78, tied for fourth in hits and is eighth in slugging percentage.
In ASUN games only Plocheck is second in doubles with two and fourth in total bases with 11. She is tied for sixth in runs scored (three) and is 10th with a .478 slugging percentage.
Peyton’s place on base: Peyton Ward is seventh overall in steals with 17. She is tied for sixth in ASUN games only with two.
Ward is tied for sixth in runs scored with three.
Thomas not in doubt: Overall in the ASUN McCarley Thomas is fifth with a .220 opposing batting average. She is fifth in batters struck out looking with 26 and tied for fifth in strikeouts with 91. She is seventh in wins with nine and 10th with a 2.57 earned run average and in innings pitched with 87.
In ASUN games only Thomas is fifth in batters struck out with 13 and tied for sixth with two batters struck out looking.
She is tied for ninth in innings pitched (13) and is 10th in both ERA (2.69) and opposing batting average (.255).