Ladies Drop Oakland for 11th Straight Win
Saturday, March 22, 2008

SHREVEPORT—The Centenary softball team completed its third consecutive series sweep in Summit League play with a 6-0 victory over Oakland on Saturday. The Ladies are now 9-0 within the conference and have won 11 straight overall. Centenary outscored the Golden Grizzlies 14-0 in the three-game set.


Centenary (20-15, 9-0 Summit) has now won 18 of its last 20 games and has outscored its conference opponents 45-4 though nine games. The Ladies also improved to 10-0 at home this season.


Ryan Thacker collected her seventh straight win, tossing her fourth shutout in six conference starts. She improved to 13-6 on the year after throwing 5.1 scoreless innings, striking out nine and scattering just two hits. Thacker alone compiled 12.1 scoreless innings and racked up 19 strikeouts against Oakland over two games this weekend.


Centenary got on the board in the second inning on one swing by Lauren Flowers. Haley Bassett singled and promptly stole second just ahead of Flowers’ long homerun to dead center field, her team-leading fourth of the season, to put the Ladies ahead by a 2-0 count.


Oakland (9-10, 2-3 Summit) seemed deflated after the blast, but pitcher Jessica Granger (5-8) settled down, holding the Centenary bats at bay until the sixth inning.


In the sixth, with Thacker cruising along on the mound and her replacement Stacy Whitmer doing the same, the Ladies struck for four runs in the bottom of the frame.


Jennifer Martin got things going with a lead-off double. Caitlin Cavarra singled home Martin and was pinch run for by Lyn Virdell. Bonnie Matak singled and Emerald Doria laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third. Allison Shepperd was issued an intentional walk to load the bases, but Bassett fouled out to third base. With two outs, Flowers lifted a towering fly ball to right field that was misplayed by Stephanie Schall, allowing three runs to score for Centenary.


Lauren Highsmith then closed the door on Oakland, pitching a scoreless seventh inning and striking out one. The combined shutout was the 13th on the season for the Ladies’ pitching staff.


Cavarra, Matak, Bassett, Flowers, and Martin accounted for Centenary’s five hits on the day. Flowers drove in two in the victory. Matak reached base in eight of her 11 at-bats in the series.


The Ladies will look to tie the school record for consecutive wins (12) when they host Southeastern Louisiana on Wednesday at 6 p.m.