Five Ladies Selected to All-Summit League Teams
Friday, May 9, 2008

ELMHURST, Ill.—The Summit League conference office today announced its 2008 Softball All-Summit League Teams. Five Centenary players were recognized for their stellar play this season in leading the Ladies to a 17-7 conference record and the top seed in The Summit League Tournament. Shortstop Emerald Doria and third baseman Allison Shepperd were selected as first team members, while designated player Caitlin Cavarra and pitchers Ryan Thacker and Stacy Whitmer were named to the second team.


The All-Summit League teams are chosen based on the nominations and votes from the nine head coaches of the conference softball teams. Coaches could not vote for their own players.


Shepperd (Marshall, Texas) earns her first All-Summit League honor after finishing in the top 10 of eight different conference offensive categories including batting average, hits, runs, and RBI. The sophomore hit .353 this season and broke the Centenary record for doubles in a season with 18. She led the Ladies in RBI (38), hits (60), extra-base hits (24), slugging percentage (.553) and many other categories.


Doria (San Antonio, Texas) lands a spot on the All-Summit League squad for the second time in her career. Although this is the first time the junior has been named to the first team, she was a second team selection and the Newcomer of the Year as a freshman in 2006.


The shortstop flashed her defensive skills making exceptional plays all season long and added an offensive presence for the Ladies as well. She hit .267 on the year, but sported a team-best .417 on-base percentage thanks to a school-record 31 walks despite missing 17 games due to injury.


Cavarra (Brentwood, Tenn.) makes the All-Summit League second team in just her first season in the college ranks. The freshman designated player hit .258 with eight doubles from the Ladies lead-off spot in the batting order. She elevated her play down the stretch, hitting .295 over the month of April.


Thacker (Alto, Texas) also joins the second team for the first time. The sophomore pitcher was named The Summit League Pitcher of the Week three times this season and closed out the regular season with a 16-10 record and a 2.31 ERA with 132 strikeouts in 176 innings pitched. Her 16 victories this season is the fifth highest single season total in Centenary history.


Whitmer (Henderson, Ky.) was also named the league’s Pitcher of the Week twice this season and earns a spot on the All-Summit League squad for the first time in her young career. The sophomore hurler posted a 13-9 mark in her second season and a 3.06 ERA with 129 strikeouts in 132.2 innings of work.


Absent from the All-Summit League teams were Centenary catcher Haley Bassett and utility player Lauren Flowers. Both played exceptionally well this season with the sophomore Bassett hitting .310 with 14 doubles in addition to handling the Ladies successful pitching staff. The senior Flowers batted .275 (.290 in league play) with six homeruns and 35 RBI. Four of her long balls and 18 of her RBI came in Summit League action.


Regular season champion North Dakota State swept the four major awards. Sophomore Melissa Chmielewski was voted the Player of the Year, senior Allison Bakke was named Pitcher of the Year, and Elisa Victa was the choice for Freshman of the Year. Darren Mueller was named the Coach of the Year after guiding the Bison to the regular season title during NDSU’s first year in The Summit League.