Ladies Finish Houston Tourney With Upset of Florida
Sunday, February 22, 2004

HOUSTON, Tex. – For the second consecutive year, the Centenary softball team defeated the University of Florida on a neutral field, as the Ladies upset the Gators, 7-4, Sunday morning at the Crowne Plaza Classic hosted by the University of Houston.

In the previous four games of the tournament, the Ladies’ offense had been stifled by better competition, as Nebraska, Houston, and Indiana held Centenary to no runs and four hits in 19 innings of action. Centenary showed some signs of breaking out of its hitting slump in a 13-1 victory over Manhattan College on Saturday, but the Ladies were facing Jenny Gladding, Florida’s best pitcher.

After spotting Florida a run in the second inning, the Ladies scored in the top of the fourth inning, as Ursula Maroski drove in pinch runner Natalie Schoppe to tie the game. Then pinch runners Katie Harwick and Dana Davis executed a double steal to perfection, with Davis scoring to give the Ladies a lead they would never relinquish.

Centenary (8-7) exploded in the sixth inning for five runs, chasing Gladding from the game. Lauren Brownlee earned a RBI single and Traci Smith drew a bases-loaded walk off of Amanda Knowles. With the bases still loaded, Jordan Lansdale hit a bases-clearing double off of Amanda Moore to give the Ladies a 7-1 lead.

Cheyenne Daries (5-4) did not give up a hit until Lindsey Cameron hit a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth inning. However, Daries gave up three consecutive doubles with two outs in the bottom of the seventh as Florida cut the Centenary advantage to three runs. Janis Kelley came in to pick up her first save of the season, getting Cameron to strike out to end the game.

The Ladies continue their month-long road trip Wednesday with a doubleheader against first-year program North Texas in Denton, Tex., at 1 p.m. Centenary will then travel to Tulsa, Okla., for a tournament next weekend featuring Tulsa, St. Louis, Drake, UAB, and Texas Tech.