LipscombSports.com
Lady Bisons finish the regular season at NKU
Lipscomb (30-22, 16-8 A-Sun)
at
Northern Kentucky (11-39, 5-20 A-Sun)
5/3/2013 | Highland Heights, Ky | Attendance: 0
1234567RHE
Lipscomb3000000360
Northern Kentucky0000000020
PitchingIPHRERBBSO
Win: PARKER (13-11) 7.020015
Loss: CAUDILL (1-7) 1.033300
BattingABRHRBIBBHR
AGUIRRE (LIP) 312000
DAVIS (NKU) 301000
STEINMETZ (NKU) 201000

Thursday, May 02, 2013

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – Heading into the final regular season softball games, Lipscomb’s Kristen Sturdivant and Paige Neely have been putting up top 10 numbers in several categories in Atlantic Sun Conference games.

Sturdivant is first in the conference with an .810 slugging percentage. She is tied for second in home runs with seven and leads the team with 11 overall. She is sixth with a .379 batting average and eighth with a .471 on base percentage.

“Coming into this year we felt like Kristen was one of our juniors who was ready to turn the corner,” LU coach Kristin Ryman said. “When she is on, she is on.

“She can get as hot as anybody at the plate. When she connects it goes off her bat as hard as anybody I have ever seen. She is definitely an exciting hitter to watch.”

One of the biggest plusses for Sturdivant has been the consistency of her efforts at the plate.

“Kristen’s consistency numbers are up which is good to see,” Ryman said. “Obviously, her power numbers are up as well. She has stayed the course and worked through the rough patches.

“She has been a huge boost to us in conference play in both average and power. That is big.”

Neely is second with a .452 batting average in conference games. She is third in total bases with 52 and hits with 33. She is tied for third in runs batted in with 21.

Bridgette Begle leads the A-Sun in sacrifice bunts in conference games with eight. Brittany Elmore is tied for second in the conference in stolen bases with nine in conference games. She leads the A-Sun overall with 30.

The Lady Bisons are one of the six teams qualified for the A-Sun Softball Championship which starts Wednesday at Draper Diamond on the Lipscomb University campus. Final seedings will be determined by the results of this weekend’s games.

The Purple and Gold enter the weekend series against Northern Kentucky with a 29-22 record, 15-8 in the conference. LU is 10-2 on the road in A-Sun games this season.  Northern Kentucky is 11-38 overall, 5-19 in the conference. The Norse lost three games last weekend to Florida Gulf Coast, but two of them were in extra innings.

The doubleheader starts at noon Friday. A single game is scheduled for Saturday at noon at Frank Ignatius Grein Softball Field.

“Northern Kentucky had a really good weekend against Gulf Coast and just came up short in three games,” Ryman said. “We have to come in with a lot of intensity and energy and do our part.”

Overall Elmore continues to lead the team with a .349 batting average, 61 hits and 36 runs scored as the lead-off hitter.

Neely is second at .333. Neely is first with a .394 on base percentage and in runs batted in with 35. She is second in runs scored with 35.

On the mound Heather Parker, 12-11, is second in conference games with a .188 opposing batting average, one point higher than the leader. She is fourth with a 1.84 earned run average. She is 10th in innings pitched with 72.1 and sixth in strikeouts with 56.

Tanner Sanders, 16-9, has won eight conference games which ranks her fifth. Parker is one win behind with seven’ Sanders is fifth with a .213 opposing batting average and eighth in innings pitched with 78. She is 10th with a 2.69 ERA. Sanders is ninth with 46 strikeouts in conference games. Sanders and Parker are tied for sixth in forcing 16 batters to strike out looking.

Ryman would like to use a strong regular season finish to set her team’s tone for the tournament.

“I think it is going to be a key, especially from a momentum standpoint heading into the tournament, to play well this weekend and try to take all three,” Ryman said. “We have just finished finals. We can go out and play the game that we love without the pressure of school, studying or a lack of sleep.

“We have a couple of people that are banged up. We have to find a balance between being smart with those players and also winning games. It is important for us to win these games in order to get the highest seed we can in the tournament.”