Ladies Fall Late to Central Florida
Tuesday, February 24, 2009

ORLANDO, Fla.—The Centenary Ladies softball couldn’t overcome a late-game rally by Central Florida on Tuesday afternoon, falling 7-3 in non-conference play in its first of six games played in Florida this week.


Centenary (9-3) jumped ahead of the Knights 1-0 when Bassett opened the top of the second inning with a single to right center. Katie Matthews’ sacrifice bunt advanced Haley Bassett into scoring position for teammate Smith to drive her in on a double to the right center gap.


With a minuscule lead, the Ladies were able to put another run on the board in the top of the third when Bonnie Matak led off the inning with a double down the left field line. Emerald Doria followed with a walk, putting runners at first and second. Caitlin Cavarra’s fielder’s choice, forced Matak out at third, keeping runners at first and second.


A UCF (9-7) passed ball allowed Doria and Cavarra to advance to second and third. With one out, Shepperd lined out to left field, picking up an RBI, scoring Doria to give the Ladies a 2-0 lead.


Freshman pitcher Hillary Phillips held UCF hitless through three innings, but the Knights tied the game at two apiece in the bottom of the fourth inning on two hits. The Ladies managed to escape a bases loaded situation, when Phillips forced UCF to ground out to Doria, who stepped on second for an unassisted force out to end the inning.


Through five complete innings, the Ladies and Knights remained tied, though the sixth proved to be too much for Centenary to overcome as UCF opened the bottom half of the inning with a walk, a sacrifice bunt, and  back-to-back singles scoring two runs, taking the 4-2 lead.


With three runners on, T. Lane of UCF was able to find a pitch to send over the center field fence to extend the Knights’ late-game lead, 7-2. Sophomore pitcher Jessica Bock was able to force a pop-up to Doria, but five runs on three hits gave UCF the momentum heading into the top of the seventh.


In its last chance to narrow the 7-2 deficit, Centenary led off the final inning with two strikeouts, but Allison McClain kept the game alive, singling through the right side. A walk and an error allowed the Ladies to push one more run across, scoring pinch runner Leslie Postles.


Bassett, McClain, and Matak each went 2-for-3 on the afternoon, while Shepperd and Smith picked up an RBI apiece.


Bock (5-2) was saddled with the loss, throwing 2.2 innings, giving up three hits and five earned runs, while striking out two. Phillips started the game, pitching 3.1 innings, allowing two hits and two runs, while walking three and fanning four.


The Ladies will be back in action on Wednesday as they face Stetson University at 5 p.m. eastern/ 4 p.m. central.