PREVIEW: Softball Opens League Play at IUPUI
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
SHREVEPORT-After a lengthy break, the Centenary softball team will return to action as it opens Summit League play on Friday and Saturday at IUPUI. The Ladies are set to begin with a single game on Friday, starting at 3 pm CT, followed by a double-header on Saturday at 11 am CT.

The Ladies (0-10) haven't seen game action since Feb. 27 at the UTA Invitational. Centenary is still looking for its first win of the 2011 season.

The weekend series will be available via live stats at www.iupuijags.com.

Senior Bonnie Matak and junior Reggie Salvatore each had two hits on Sunday, but the Centenary softball team faced an offensively strong UT-Arlington squad, falling 8-1, in the UTA Classic tournament finale. The Ladies fell to 0-10 on the season with Sunday's loss.

Leah Dark: .333 AVG, 6 AB, 2 H
Chandelle Scott: .267 AVG, 15 AB, 4 H, 2 R, 1 RBI
Bonnie Matak: .261 AVG, 23 AB, 6 H, 2 R, 3 2B
Kalyn Harris: .174 AVG, 4 RBI

Lynsi Unruh: 9.87 ERA, 0-1, 7 APP, 1 GS, 17.1 IP, 7 SO, 36 H, 19 ER
Lauren Highsmith: 15.43 ERA, 0-7, 8 APP, 8 GS, 3 CG, 28.0 IP, 20 SO, 63 H, 48 ER
Reggie Salvatore: 19.06 ERA, 0-1, 3 APP, 1 GS, 5.2 IP, 2 SO, 14 H, 12 ER


IUPUI enters the weekend series with a 4-9 overall record. The Morehead State Tournament scheduled for last weekend was canceled and the Jaguars are looking to snap a six-game skid. IUPUI is led at the plate by Chelsie Hale's .308 average. Brandi Lawson has a team-best 10 RBI on two home runs.

On the mound, IUPUI looks to Nikki Thomas, who holds a 3.73 ERA and a 1-4 record in six game starts. Through 35.2 IP, she has struck out 45 batters and allowed 39 hits.

Centenary and IUPUI will meet for the 18th time in the school's history. The Ladies own a 13-4 edge over the Jaguars. IUPUI did take the 2010 series in Shreveport with an 8-6 win and a 4-1 victory. Centenary earned the Game 2 win, 11-7. In that win, Kelsey Regan was 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored.

Mark Lambert begins his first season as the head coach of the Ladies softball program. Prior to his new role, Lambert served as an associate head coach under Mark Montgomery in 2010. His duties included assisting with on-field coaching, managing the Ladies' strength and conditioning program as well as serving as the recruiting coordinator. Lambert comes to Centenary directly from Captain Shreve High School in Shreveport, where he served as the head coach for six years. Lambert strengthened the program and guided his team to the playoffs in four of his six seasons as the head coach.

Centenary rosters two seniors on this year's squad. RHP Lauren Highsmith and outfielder Bonnie Matak. Highsmith, a Houston, Texas native, returns as a fifth year senior after redshirting her freshman season due to an injury. The righty recorded a 1-4 record last season and a 7.20 ERA. In 45.2 IP, she struck out 33. Matak started all 44 games in the outfield, primarily in left and finished 2010 hitting .244. She had 10 RBI and 31 H in 127 AB. In 58 PO, Matak didn't commit an error for a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage.

The Ladies welcome nine newcomers to the squad. Looking to lead the freshman class is Nicole Warren, who will control the outfield in centerfield. A Castor, La. native, Warren hails from Castor HS. Also looking to make an immediate impact is junior-transfer Ashley Boccaccio at second base. The Austin, Texas native comes directly from Clarendon CC, where she played two seasons. Freshman RHP Lynsi Unruh will see action on the mound. A 5-8 thrower from Houston, Texas and Langham Creek HS will look to add depth to the Ladies staff.

Centenary returns six letterwinners from last year's squad. Behind seniors Highsmith and Matak is junior first baseman Kalyn Harris (.232 avg) and junior utility player Reggie Salvatore, who will see action on the mound again this season after posting one save and a 6.24 ERA last year. Also returning is sophomore catcher Kelsey Regan, who played mainly a DP and outfield role in her first season. Regan hit .228 last year, while sophomore Bailey Boggs (.129 avg) will take over at shortstop after playing time in the outfield last season.

Centenary will play its first 11 games on the road from Feb. 18-March 15. Of those 11 games, seven will be in tournament play at UNT's Sleep Inn Classic and UTA's Invitational, while one will be a mid-week contest at Grambling, before Summit League play starts at IUPUI. The Ladies will finally return home for their opener on March 15 against Grambling at 6 pm.

The Ladies had six players make Centenary's Fall 2010 Dean's List. Representing the team with at least a 3.5 GPA was Lauren Highsmith, Phyllis Hafer, Bailey Boggs, Ashley Boccaccio, Bonnie Matak and Leah Dark.

Centenary begins a new era under Lambert, but wrapped up a 10-34 overall record a year ago and a 4-19 Summit League record. The Ladies graduated top hitters Haley Bassett (.286 avg) and Allison Shepperd (.269 avg) as well as top pitcher Sara Dornelas (9-22, 4.58 ERA) to a transfer.

Following the weekend series at IUPUI, Centenary will return home for its 2011 home opener against Grambling on Tuesday. First pitch is set for 6 pm. Live stats will be available via www.GoCentenary.com.