Turnin' Two with Allison McClain
Tuesday, March 25, 2008



Hey guys, welcome back. These past few weeks have been exciting on the softball diamond to say the least. On the road traveling, visiting new places, and winning games occupied our Easter break.


Last week while up in Kansas City, we were able to take all three games from the Kangaroos. We looked pretty solid all around with dominating pitching, powerful hitting, and great defense.


This time of the year is definitely the most enjoyable as we are deep into conference games and working hard to fight the pressures of school and such a busy traveling schedule.


We played all week, three games at UMKC and three games at home against Oakland without one of our teammates. Sophomore Brittany Williams traveled home to Tennessee to have surgery. She is finally back in town recovering from an intensive week of operations. We are glad she made it through successfully and can be with us through our wins.


After the UMKC series, we loaded the bus around 2 p.m. and headed back to Shreveport. We arrived back into town close to 2 a.m., but luckily we didn’t have to worry about waking up for classes or morning weights. On Thursday, we had a pretty relaxed day with a water workout and a light hitting practice to prepare for our home series against Oakland.


Going into the weekend against Oakland meant a lot to our team. We were battling fatigue, though in the end, we knew we had to get the job done and take three wins from the Grizzlies. Last season was an upset for us as they swept us at their place, so the need for a great weekend was sought.


Friday came, no classes, just softball. We were able to focus only on winning and it paid off. We were able to take both games on Friday, 3-0 and 5-0, led by pitchers Ryan Thacker, Lauren Highsmith, and Stacy Whitmer, who combined for two shutouts.


Those two games meant so much as we improved to 17-2 over the last 19 games and a perfect 9-0 at home. We had several key players step up over the course of the day providing consistent offense. Freshman Bonnie Matak and sophomores Allison Shepperd and Haley Bassett each had productive days at the plate.


Taking both games on Friday, we were sitting confident heading into Saturday’s final game. Our team is excited overall about where we are and how we are playing, and with that, we are not going to let anyone take a game away from us.


So, with that said, Saturday’s game opened to our advantage when senior Lauren Flowers connected on her team-leading fourth homer of the season over the center field fence to put us ahead 2-0. We battled Oakland’s starting pitcher for a few more innings, finally breaking through with four more runs due to a Grizzly error.


Again, pitching was flawless. Ryan collected her seventh straight win and fourth shutout in six conference starts. She pitched 5.1 innings, giving up just two hits and striking out nine Oakland batters. Lauren was able to come in and close the door on the Grizzly hitters, pitching a scoreless seventh inning while striking out one.


With our 11th straight win, our 9-0 conference record, and our improvement to our overall record making it now 20-15—Coach Montgomery granted us two days off for Easter.


Now, as cars begin to fill the parking lots on campus after break, we continue to play softball. This week, we host Southeastern Louisiana on Wednesday at 6 p.m. and travel to play the University of Louisiana-Monroe on Thursday at 6 p.m. as well.


Come out and see us build on a great winning streak. Can we make it 12 straight? You bet. Go Ladies!


See you here next week.


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


For the love of the game,

-Allison McClain