Ladies Open NCAA Regionals with 5-0 Loss to Penn State
Friday, May 20, 2005

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The Centenary softball team fell 5-0 in the opening game of the College Station-Region 5 of the NCAA Softball Tournament hosted by Texas A&M. The third seeded Ladies drew eight walks but managed just two hits, stranding nine runners on base. The loss brings Centenary’s all-time record against the Big Ten to 0-8.

Centenary (31-27) started off by putting their two leadoff batters on as Lauren Flowers drew a full-count walk followed by an infield bunt single by Katie Harwick. Megan Hall was called out for batters interference for the first out before Flowers and Harwick both advanced to scoring position on a wild pitch by Nittany Lion pitcher Missy Beseres (16-12). Beseres would calm down to strike out the next two Centenary batters to end the inning.

Second seed Penn State (35-21) would put their first run on the board in the second inning courtesy of a solo home run over the left field fence by Hollee Haines. The freshman catcher got hold of an inside fastball to give PSU a 1-0 lead.

The Nittany Lions would add four more runs, two each in the fourth and fifth innings, to complete the shutout. Shortstop Jen Acunto nailed a two-out double down the rightfield line to drive in a pair of runs in the fourth. An inning later, Katie Stauffer’s single through the left side plated another two runs.

Centenary loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the seventh, but relief pitcher Jenn Reynolds struck out Hall to end the game.

Jessica Ivins (12-13) picked up the loss for the Ladies, tossing 4.2 innings and striking out three. She was replaced in the fifth inning by fellow freshman Kristan Morton, but ended up re-entering to close out the inning herself.

"Jess pitched great," Head Coach Mark Montgomery said, "scattering seven hits for four runs, especially for not intending to bring her back in."

Also unexcpected was the Ladies drawing eight walks without scoring a run. The Ladies stranded nine runners throughout the game, including the bases loaded in the seventh.

"We’re used to getting the big hits," Ivins explained, "but playing in the Big Ten, [Penn State]

is used to good hitting teams. I just thought we were one big hit away, but never got it."

The Ladies face the loser of the game between top-seeded Texas A&M and fourth seed McNeese State on Saturday at 2:30. Coach Montgomery knows it could be the last game of the season for Centenary, but has more optimistic ideas.

"You have to play like you’re happy to be here," Montgomery warned, "but can’t play like you’re satisfied." On what he expects for the rest of the Regional, Montgomery hopes to "come out and make a splash in the losers bracket."

"Maybe [we’ll] win one or two more," Montgomery suggests, then adds with a grin, "or three or four or five or six more. Who knows?"