NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Three senior Lipscomb softball players are hopeful this weekend their home state will truly be “Sweet Home Alabama” for them and their teammates.
Pitchers Mandy Jordan and Chloe Yeager and center fielder Destinee Brewer are from the state.
Jordan, the ASUN Tournament Most Valuable Player, lives in Camden and has always been an Auburn fan.
“It is a little bit special to go back,” Jordan said. “My father played football at Auburn. All my family has gone to Auburn.
“I have been to Tuscaloosa a few times to watch games. It is a tense atmosphere. But I am excited. I am hoping a lot of my family will get to come to the games.”
Brewer, from Wetumpka, has not been able to go home this year. She looks forward to reconnecting with friends and family.
“I was a huge Alabama fan,” Brewer said. “When I signed to play here it became go Bisons all the way for me.
“It is going to be a really fun opportunity,” Brewer said. “I am really excited.”
Brewer acknowledges the Lady Bisons are in for a major test against Arizona State from the Pac-12.
“I think we will be fine,” Brewer said. “Of course, talent matters, but I think it is all about who wants to show up and play that day.
“Based on the way we have been playing, and with our winning streak right now, we are playing really strong. We have a lot of big wins and we will be ready going into this tournament.”
Yeager has fond childhood memories of the Alabama softball program, but the school was too close to her home in Birmingham.
“I absolutely have special memories,” Yeager said. ‘I grew up going to Alabama softball camps. It is weird going back but very definitely exciting.
“I wanted to get out of Birmingham and Alabama for college. I had this three-hour rule. I got exactly three hours away from home at Lipscomb. The school is perfect. The coaching staff is perfect. It worked out the way it was supposed to for me.”
The Lady Bisons will face Arizona State at 3 p.m. Friday in the first game of the NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional.
Alabama, the No.8 seed nationally and the No. 1 seed regionally, will face Alabama State at 5:30 Friday.
National Stat Comparisons
Lipscomb is 37th in this week’s RPI ranking, their highest ranking of the season. Arizona State is 27th.
As a team Lipscomb, 41-13-1, ranks 16th with a .755 won-loss percentage. They are 18th with 1.62 doubles per game and 17th in stolen bases with 1.89 per game. The Lady Bisons .383 on base percentage is 45th nationally.
Individually, Hannah DeVault is seventh in doubles with 20 and 16th with .36 doubles per game.
Mandy Jordan is 26th in saves with four. She is 46th with 4.81 hits allowed per seven innings. She is 54th with a 1.81 earned run average.
Megan Gray is 37th with 4.71 hits allowed per seven innings.
Khayla Green is 28th in walks with .73 per game.
Peyton Ward is 32nd in stolen bases with .55 per game.
Arizona State is in the top 10 as a team in several categories – third with a .611 slugging percentage, third in scoring (7.55 runs per game), fourth in doubles per game (1.76), fifth in home runs per game (1.67) and seventh is on base percentage (.449).
The Sun Devils .316 batting average is 16th.
Kindra Hackbarth is second with 1.22 runs per game, 21st with a .819 slugging percentage, 29th with 1.04 runs batted in per game and 40th with 19 home runs.
Her sister, Maddi Hackbarth, is ninth with .37 home runs per game, 13th with 19 home runs and 35th with 1.02 runs batted in per game.
Morgan Howe is 10th with 1.14 runs batted in per game.
- The Lady Bisons were given a day off Monday. They will be back at work Tuesday.
- The Lady Bisons are now 19-25 (.432) all-time in ASUN championship history.
- The No. 1 seed improves to 94-26 (.783) in ASUN Softball Championship history.
- The Lipscomb pitching staff combined to allow just two runs in three games the ASUN Championships.