Ladies Pitching Stifles IUPUI in Conference Opener
Friday, March 14, 2008

SHREVEPORT—The Centenary softball team opened Summit League play with a pair of shutouts against IUPUI on Friday. The Ladies held the Jaguars scoreless for all 14 innings and used some offensive punch from Haley Bassett and Allison McClain to win 4-0 and 2-0.


Centenary (13-15, 2-0 Summit) missed an opportunity to score with no outs and the bases loaded in the first inning of the opening game, but made good on later chances. The Ladies got on the board in the third inning after a pair of walks and a fielder’s choice left runners on first and second with two outs. Bassett then laced the first of a pair of doubles in the game by the sophomore to score Allison Shepperd and Emerald Doria.


The Ladies added a single run in the fourth inning on a double steal and then McClain launched the first of two long balls on the day in the sixth to seal the 4-0 victory.


On the mound, sophomore hurler Ryan Thacker was in complete control. The righty opened conference play with 11 strikeouts, which included a stretch over the first and second innings where she fanned five in a row. She notched her fourth complete game on the season and her third shutout, while improving to 8-6 on the year.


In game two, Centenary got on the board early, scoring in the bottom of the first. Two walks and an infield single brought Lauren Flowers to the plate with the bases loaded. Flowers was then hit by a pitch from pitcher Meaghan Raynes to force in a run. Raynes struck out the next two batters to get out of trouble.


The game remained 1-0 as Centenary pitcher Stacy Whitmer steamed along with little resistance until the fifth inning. A walk and a double led to Lauren Highsmith replacing Whitmer with one out and runners on second and third. But, Highsmith was up to the challenge and induced a pop up and a ground out to get out of the jam.


McClain struck again with another blast to left center field in the bottom of the sixth to give the Ladies some breathing room at 2-0. That would be more than enough for Highsmith, who allowed only one baserunner in her 2 2/3 innings of work.


Whitmer (4-5) earned her fourth win of the season, tossing 4 1/3 scoreless innings and allowing just three hits. Highsmith picked up her third save on the campaign.


The two teams will conclude the series on Saturday at 12 p.m.