Four New Student Athletes Sign with Defending Softball Champs
Monday, November 22, 2004


SHREVEPORT- Centenary softball head coach Mark Montgomery has announced the signing of four athletes to National Letters of Intent for the 2006 season. Emerald Doria, Kendall Howard, Ashley Lail, and Allison McClain, each high school athletes hailing from Texas, have committed to play for the defending Mid-Continent Conference champions.


Doria is a four-year starter from Holmes High School in San Antonio. The shortstop broke the school record for hits and stolen bases as a freshman, and she has been named first-team All-District for the past two seasons.


“Emerald is one of the most physically talented athletes we have ever signed,” said Coach Montgomery. “She plays a great defensive shortstop, hits extremely well, and has both speed and quickness. There is no doubt she will be an impact player here at Centenary.”


A catcher and four-year letterman from Denison, Howard was named 2004 Defensive Player of the Year in District 11-4A after committing only one error and compiling a .994 fielding percentage. The Denison High School product also batted .358 with four homeruns and a .597 slugging percentage in 2004 while being named Texoma All-Area Catcher of the Year.


“While she won defensive player of the year, what makes Kendall the catcher she is, is her offensive prowess,” Coach Montgomery said. “She can hit for both power and average and could be a driving force in next year’s lineup.”


Lail joins the quartet of early signees as the lone pitcher. At R.L. Paschal in Fort Worth, Lail put together an impressive 2004 season on the mound. In 203 innings pitched, she racked up 17 shutouts, struck out 348 batters, and compiled a .24 ERA.


“We feel Ashley is an outstanding pitcher who not only changes speeds very well, but has exceptional movement on all of her pitches,” said Coach Montgomery. “Ashley also plays outfield and hits extremely well. Look for her to be an immediate contributor in 2006.” 


Rounding out the early signing class is McClain, a utility player out of Diboll High School. A first team All-District performer at third base for the past two seasons, McClain was also named Offensive Player of the Year in 2003 and Defensive Player of the Year in 2004.


“Allison brings a great defensive game at numerous positions,” said Coach Montgomery. “She has incredibly soft hands and a strong arm and will help a strong defensive team become even better.”  


Centenary is a Division I member of the NCAA and the Mid-Continent Conference.  Founded in 1825, Centenary is the oldest college west of the Mississippi River and with an enrollment of 905, it is the smallest Division I school in the nation.