GoCentenary.com
Turnin' Two with Allison McClain
Tuesday, March 18, 2008

3/18/08

 

Centenary softball supporters, welcome back. It is obvious from the parking lots on campus that Spring Break has arrived and students left for other exciting experiences. The fun of being a student-athlete is spending a week of break traveling across the country playing ball, eating in nice restaurants, and hanging out with teammates.

 

If you haven’t already noticed, this last week has been a week of wins; one against the University of South Alabama and a sweep of three games against IUPUI in our conference opener.

 

Hosting all four games last week, we were excited to begin conference. Working hard to prepare for this time of the season with big games against Big 12 and SEC schools enabled us to understand who we are as a team and who we want to become down the stretch.

 

Right now, I, along with my teammates and coaches, are in Kansas City awaiting our three-game series with UMKC, which begins this afternoon. A middle of the week series is a little out of the ordinary, but having Spring Break enabled us to make the ten-hour bus ride to play the Kangaroos.

 

Earlier last week, we hosted USA in a middle-of-the-week game where we took an exciting 2-1 win off the bat of freshman Bonnie Matak, who provided a two-run blast to seal the win late in the game.

 

This win provided us with a little momentum heading into the opening weekend of conference, as we improved our record to 11-15 and a perfect 4-0 at home.

 

Against IUPUI on Friday, our pitching staff combined to throw two shutout ball games, 4-0 and 2-0 wins, while our hitters consistently stayed in control throughout both games. Sophomore Haley Bassett continued to stay strong at the plate going 2-for-3 with two RBI’s in the opening game. I was able to connect on my first career homerun late in the game. Three other Ladies, Emerald Doria, Jennifer Martin, and Bonnie Matak each contributed with hits in the first conference win.

 

Sophomore “stud” Ryan Thacker picked up her eighth win this season, striking out 11 IUPUI batters, while giving up just five hits.

 

In game two on Friday, we broke through with a single run in the first inning, but couldn’t seem to connect hits together and provide any insurance runs again until the sixth inning. Surprisingly, I hit my second homerun of my career to left center to provide us with a 2-0 advantage heading into the last inning.

 

Pitching dominated this game as sophomore Stacy Whitmer picked up the win, throwing 4.1 innings, giving up three hits. Freshman Lauren Highsmith came in to close the game, pitching 2.2 scoreless innings, giving up just one hit and striking out two batters, picking up her third save of the season.

 

On Saturday, the concluding day of our conference opening series, we worked our magic on the field manufacturing runs when we needed them and working together as a team to come away with an overall solid 9-1 win.

 

Bonnie and Haley each contributed to our 11-hit performance as a team with three hits apiece. Junior Leslie Postles was able to provide us with two RBI’s on the day. Seven different players collected hits making our last game of the opening series well deserved on all parts.

 

A solid pitching performance was given by Ryan and Stacy on the mound as they combined to throw a four-hit game that ended early due to the mercy rule.

 

With these three wins, we have now won the last 12 out of 14 games, improving to a perfect 7-0 at home.

 

Today, we look to take two games from UMKC and one on Wednesday to complete our second sweep in conference. Stay tuned in as we look to work our record above the .500-mark heading into this weekend’s series at home with Oakland.

 

This time of the year is the most anticipated and exciting time with conference heating up, our pitching and hitting working together to win ball games, and our team focus being on the “process” of it all. Spring is finally here and we are ready to play.

 

Come out and support us. See you next week!

 

“I come to play everyday.” –David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox

 

For the love of the game,

-Allison McClain