Ladies Escape With Day One Victory At Mid-Con Tourney
Friday, May 14, 2004

MACOMB, Ill. – In a three-hour game with comebacks and controversy, the Centenary softball team took advantage of the wildness of Western Illinois’ pitching to defeat the Westerwinds in extra innings, 6-5, in the first round of games at the Mid-Con Softball Tournament at McKee Stadium.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Centenary loaded the bases on a single, a walk, and a throwing error by relief pitcher Christy Drankiewicz (2-2). After a long delay due to a dispute over the number of pitching conferences held by Westerwind head coach Kathy Veroni that led to her ejection from the game, Drankiewicz threw a wild pitch that scored Lory Kowaleski and ended the contest.

After a two-hour delay due to overnight rains, the Ladies jumped on top in the first inning when Lauren Koehn scored on a Megan Hall single. Western Illinois took the lead with one run in the third inning and two more in the top of the fourth inning.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Ursula Maroski and Lauren Brownlee led off with back-to-back singles. After a sacrifice bunt by Kowaleski, pinch hitter Micah Rhodes was walked to set up a force at every base. Jordan Lansdale made the Westerwinds pay for that decision with a single that scored pinch runner Katie Harwick. Koehn followed with a bases-clearing double to the left-center field gap to give Centenary a 5-3 lead.

After Janis Kelley started the game and pitched the first four innings, Cheyenne Daries (23-14) came on in relief to try to shut the door on Western Illinois. However, in the sixth inning, she gave up back-to-back doubles to Jessica Stanforth and Cassandra Hallstrom, both of whom later scored to tie the game and eventually send it to extra innings.

Lansdale, Koehn, Kelley, Hall, and Brownlee all had two hits each as the Ladies pounded out 13 hits against KarenMarie Pena and Drankiewicz. Centenary (34-26) also stole seven bases off of catcher Erin Zeller, led by Koehn’s two stolen bases. Four Western Illinois players enjoyed multiple-hit games as the Westerwinds also earned 13 hits, but they left 13 runners on base during the game.

Due to the delay at the beginning of the day and the length of the first two games, Centenary was unable to start its game against Valparaiso as scheduled. The two teams will face off Saturday beginning at 11 a.m., with the winner in the driver’s seat to win the conference tournament. Western Illinois (28-28) defeated Southern Utah in the last game on Friday, 1-0, eliminating the top-seeded Thunderbirds and moving the Westerwinds to a matchup with the loser of the Centenary-Valparaiso game at 1:15 p.m. on Saturday.