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Monday, March 24, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It is always great when reality exceeds expectations.
Such was the case for Lipscomb Lady Bisons softball coach Kristin Ryman. She expected her team would be ranked pretty high in the first NCAA Division I RPI of the season, but she didn’t expect the Lady Bisons to be rated No. 30.
“I expected us to be pretty high because we have played a tough schedule,” Ryman said. We have some good wins already this year and wins-loss record is pretty high."
The Lady Bisons are 26-5, 8-3 in the Atlantic Sun.
“This might be as high as we have ever been ranked in the RPI," Ryman said. "That is the reflection of playing a tough schedule and winning tough games. That shows a lot about what this team is capable of.
"We had kind of been anxious to see it. This is exciting to see where we rank in comparison to some other teams.”
The Atlantic Sun Conference has four teams in the top 40. USC Upstate, the Lady Bisons opponent in Spartanburg, S.C., this Saturday andSunday, is rated the highest at No. 25. Stetson is 35th and Mercer is 36th.
“There are several good A-Sun teams in the top 40,” Ryman said. “The fact that we have not yet played those other three teams is exciting and a challenge. It is something we are looking forward to doing.
“Stetson and Mercer have really had great starts. They are having seasons that I don’t think a lot of people expected them to have. It is neat to see teams like that doing as well as they are doing right now.”
The Lady Bisons are the second highest ranked team in the state. Tennessee is 14th. The closest team in the state to Lipscomb is Chattanooga at 104.
Rounding out the Tennessee schools are Memphis (124), Tennessee Tech (154), Tennessee State (173), UT-Martin (188), Austin Peay (208), Middle Tennessee (232) and Belmont (259).
The Lady Bisons are on the road at Memphis for single game at 5 p.m.
“We have talked as a coaching staff about the importance of scheduling tough,” Ryman said. “We want to put ourselves in a position that if we don’t win the tournament that we will put ourselves in a position to get an at-large bid.
“A lot of teams in our conference are fighting for that right now. The fact that these four teams are ranked so high speaks volumes for our conference. We talk about it year-in and year-out, but this shows how strong our conference is now.”