April 6, 2007
Nate Rau/Nashville City Paper - They don't really keep track of things like this, but between her starting lineup, her coaching staff and her own youth, Lipscomb coach Kristin Peck figures she has the youngest NCAA Division I softball team in the nation.
Then there's Peck's starting lineup, with five freshmen leading the way offensively and another carrying the role as the team's workhorse ace pitcher.
All signs point to Peck's assertion being dead on. But while the Lady Bisons are young, they're also good. Very good as a matter of fact. Lipscomb (21-16, 6-2 Atlantic Sun) is currently in first place in the conference as it heads to Gardner-Webb and East Tennessee State this weekend for a tell-all road trip.
"We've definitely had our freshmen moments when we look young," Peck said. "I think that's going to happen. If we can learn from those moments and get better next time, then I'm okay with the mistakes."
There haven't been all too many miscues at the plate. Four freshmen are among the A-Sun's top 20 in batting average in Lauren Dortwegt (.374), Abby Keese (.355), Kristie Sirus (.342) and Kellie Sirus (.319).
"It's been fun to see a lot of new people come in and totally change the program around in one year," Peck said.
Not much was expected of the young Lady Bisons, who were picked to finish second-to-last this season. While a quartet of freshmen have led the way offensively, another has carried the pitching load. Christen Campbell is 12-6 with a 2.41 ERA.
"The girls walk out and know they have to prove everybody wrong," Peck said. "A lot of people don't know what to expect from them."
But Lipscomb will know where it stands in relation to the rest of the A-Sun after this road trip. The Lady Bisons have already gone 2-1 against favorite Stetson so far, but GWU and ETSU in back-to-back games will be the toughest task yet for the young squad.
"This is that point in the year where we're almost at the halfway mark and we're sitting pretty good right now," Peck said of her team, which is up one full game in the standings. "Playing on the road will definitely be a test. If we can come out pretty well, I'm excited about what we can do the rest of the season."