Oklahoma State Hands Ladies Season-Opening Losses
Friday, February 8, 2008

TEXARKANA, Texas—The Centenary softball team opened its 2008 season with a doubleheader against Oklahoma State in the Century Bank Classic on Friday. The Ladies held leads in both games before eventually falling to the Cowgirls 10-4 and 11-4.


In the first game of the afternoon, Centenary (0-2) got on the board in its first at-bat. Freshman Caitlin Cavarra led off with a walk and moved to second on a passed ball with one out. After a strikeout, sophomore Brittany Williams doubled Cavarra home, giving the Ladies the 1-0 advantage.


The lead was short-lived for Centenary as Oklahoma State (2-0) responded with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the first inning. A double and a two-out homer off of starter Ryan Thacker gave the Cowgirls a lead it would not relinquish.


Centenary added a run in the fifth, but failed to seize an opportunity for more. The Ladies had the bases loaded with no outs after three straight walks, but back-to-back strikeouts had Centenary on the defensive. Haley Bassett then drew an RBI walk, but another strikeout ended the rally.


Lindsey Virdell homered in the sixth and Williams recorded her second RBI on a groundout in the same inning, but it would be too little, too late for the Ladies, who had allowed a game-deciding five runs in the bottom of the fifth on the strength of three long balls.


Thacker (0-1) picked up her first loss of the season, surrendering 10 runs on 16 hits over six innings. Allison Shepperd went 2-for-4 at the plate and Centenary batters coerced 12 walks, but stranded 10 runners on base.


Game two saw pitcher Stacy Whitmer hold the powerful Oklahoma State bats at bay for four innings. The sophomore allowed only one unearned run and three hits, while striking out three. She departed with a 3-1 lead in favor of closer Lauren Highsmith.


Centenary grabbed the lead in the fourth inning Williams was again involved as she singled to start the frame. Leslie Postles was inserted into the lineup to pinch run and was at second base two batters later following a strikeout and a groundout. Lauren Flowers worked a walk and Jennifer Martin came through with a clutch double to right field to score Postles. Virdell then reached on an error that allowed both Flowers and Martin to score.


The Cowgirls tagged Highsmith for a two-run homer in the fifth to tie the game, but Centenary moved in front again at 4-3 with a solo shot in the bottom of the inning from Bonnie Matak.


Oklahoma State used another two-run blast in the sixth to go ahead at 5-4 and then exploded in the seventh for six runs to put the game away.


Highsmith (0-1) was saddled with the loss after giving up 10 runs on 10 hits in three innings of work. Cavarra and Williams each picked up two hits in the loss for Centenary.