Softball To Open 2011 Campaign Vs. Milligan On Sunday
February 5, 2011
HARROGATE, TN -- The Lincoln Memorial University softball team kicks off their 2011 season Sunday when they host in-state rival Milligan at 1 p.m.
LMU comes into the season looking to build on last season's 28-23 record and their run through the South Atlantic Conference tournament that saw them reach the quarterfinals.
The Lady Railsplitters have ten players returning from last season, led by All-SAC utility player Meghan LaFevor. The leading hitter returning, LaFevor hit .345 with 14 doubles and five triples. She also led the team and was third in the SAC in stolen bases. The sophomore also led the LMU battery last season with a 1.19 ERA, giving up only 31 earned runs and striking out 125 batters. LaFevor was also named to the SAC Preseason All-Conference team.
Joining LaFevor on the preseason team is senior outfielder Jackie Adams. Adams hit .331 last season and was third on the team in stolen bases. She was also tied with LaFevor in leading the SAC in triples.
Also returning for her senior season at first base is Ashley Knight. Knight hit .274 last season.
Brittany Stuive (shortstop) and Bridget Eicher (third base) both return to the LMU infield for their junior season. Stuive hit .308 and led the team with putouts last season while Eicher hit .287 and led the team in assists.
Megan Effler will move into the starting lineup at catcher after backing up Devin Sponseller the last two seasons.
Chelley Christian (.200), Cierra Mudd (.170), Meg Ryan (.200) and Sarah Walz (.235) all return as well.
Head Coach Dan Burns, who returns for his 17th season with a 486-362-1 record, has brought in several new faces this season. Katie-Jo Gentry will see time in the pitching circle. Kristi Franz, Pebbles King, Taylor McGinnis and Danae Reed will be looked upon to fill in spots in the infield; while Brittani Bezanson, Krisha Mahan and Brianna Mulkey will see time in the outfield.
Also new this season are changes to the Dorothy Neely Field complex. A new fieldhouse/pressbox is located behind home plate with the stands now flanking it along the basepaths going to first and third base.
Milligan will make their first appearance in Harrogate since the 2009 season opener, when the Lady Buffs swept a doubleheader from LMU.
Fans not able to catch the double-header in person can watch live stats on www.lmurailsplitters.com