Ladies Continue to Ride High with Sweep of Oakland
Friday, March 21, 2008

SHREVEPORT—The Centenary softball team pushed its win streak to 10 games with a sweep of Summit League opponent Oakland on Saturday. The Ladies downed the Golden Grizzlies 3-0 and 5-0 on stellar pitching performances by Ryan Thacker, Lauren Highsmith and Stacy Whitmer.


Centenary (19-15, 8-0 Summit) improved its outstanding run over the last month to 17-2 in its last 19 games. In addition, the Ladies improved to a perfect 9-0 at home this season and 8-0 in Summit League play.


The Ladies pitching has been dominant in conference action and was no different on Friday against Oakland (9-9, 2-2 Summit). Thacker, Highsmith, and Whitmer combined to strike out 24 hitters over the doubleheader, while surrendering only five hits and no runs. Centenary has now outscored its league opponents by a 39-4 count through eight games.


In game one, Thacker (12-6) mowed down the Golden Grizzlies, striking out 10 in 5.2 innings of work. She gave up just three hits and walked only one hitter. Lauren Highsmith picked up her fifth save on the season with 1.1 innings in the circle and three strikeouts.


The Ladies scored the first run of the game in the first inning on a bases loaded walk to Lauren Flowers. Bonnie Matak started the rally with a walk and Emerald Doria and Allison Shepperd followed with singles to set up the score.


Centenary struck again in the third inning when Matak doubled and Shepperd singled her home. The final run was scored in the sixth on another walk. Amy Wiedeman singled and then Caitlin Cavarra, Doria, and Shepperd all drew bases on balls.


Shepperd went 2-for-3 in the game with two RBI to lead the offense for the Ladies.


Whitmer (6-5) won her sixth straight decision in the nightcap, looking just as stunning as Thacker in the circle. The sophomore carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning, and allowed just two hits in the complete-game shutout. She struck out a career-high 11 batters on the night.


Centenary got to Oakland pitcher Jessica Granger (5-7) in the first two innings of the second game, causing her early exit. She took the loss in both games for the Golden Grizzlies.


Matak again got the offense going for the Ladies as she blasted her third homerun of the season in the first inning to give Centenary a 1-0 advantage. The Maroon and White plated two more in the second inning when Flowers scored on Wiedeman’s triple and Jennifer Martin’s squeeze bunt scored Wiedeman.


The game was put away in the fifth inning when a single by Haley Bassett and back-to-back batters hit by a pitch led to a pair of runs off of Martin’s two-out single.


Bassett and Matak each collected two hits in game two, while Martin finished with three RBI. On the day, Matak, a freshman, went 3-for-4 with a long ball and a double. She reached base in seven of her eight at-bats when factoring in two walks and twice being hit by a pitch.


The series finale between Centenary and Oakland will take place on Saturday at 12 p.m. at the Centenary softball complex.