Grand Slams and Errors Determine Ladies Fate at Valpo
Friday, April 21, 2006

Files associated with this release:
CC-Valpo #1 4-21-06
CC-Valpo #2 4-21-06

Emerald Doria

Lauren Flowers

Micah Rhodes

VALPARAISO, Ind.—The Centenary softball team committed two errors that led to three unearned runs in losing the opening game of their series with Valparaiso 4-3, but used a pair of grand slams in the second game to salvage a split by winning 12-5. Emerald Doria and Lauren Flowers each tallied five RBI in the nightcap to pace the Ladies.


Centenary (28-22, 10-8 Mid-Con) received an outstanding pitching effort from Ashley Lail in the opener as the freshman struck out six and allowed only six hits. However, the defense would falter behind her in allowing three unearned runs in the game.


Valparaiso (18-23, 5-9 Mid-Con) jumped into the lead with a three-run second inning. A lead-off single turned into two runners on base and no outs when a sacrifice bunt attempt was mishandled. After another sac bunt advanced the runners again, back-to-back singles and a sacrifice fly provided the Crusaders with the three-run edge.


The Ladies tied the game with a single run in the fourth on an RBI single by Lail and two more runs in the sixth. Amy Wiedeman and Brittney Broussard came up with clutch pinch-hit singles to propel the Maroon and White to the tie.


Lail struck out the first Valpo hitter in the bottom of the seventh but another error on a ground ball gave the Crusaders hope. A sacrifice bunt put the baserunner in scoring position for Courtney LaFerle. LaFerle singled up the middle to drive in the game-winner despite a close play at the plate.


The Ladies got on the board quickly to start game two as Doria led off with a homerun and Lail’s sacrifice fly plated Flowers. Centenary staked itself to a 4-0 lead in the third after Flowers homered and Micah Rhodes and Megan Hall each doubled.


The game looked in hand for pitcher Jessica Ivins who cruised through the first two innings. However, Valpo responded with five hits in the third which included a three-run homer and a solo shot. The scoring barrage landed the home team on top 5-4.


Two innings later the game was put away for good when Doria belted her second long ball of the game, this time a grand slam. With a three-run cushion, the Ladies rallied again in the top of the seventh.


With runners on first and second, Valparaiso coach Randy Schneider elected to walk the hot-hitting Doria to load the bases and take his chances with Flowers despite the fact she already had three hits in the game including a dinger. The gamble did not work as Flowers answered with a grand slam of her own on the first pitch to seal the win 12-5.


Lail (15-13) picked up the win in relief of Ivins, tossing 3.2 scoreless innings while striking out four. Andrea Zappia (7-11) took the loss after earning the victory in game one.


Doria and Flowers each belted a pair of homeruns and drove in five runs on the day. The long balls brought Doria’s season total to nine and gave Flowers five on the year. Rhodes went 3-for-5 on the day and was walked four times while Megan Hall and Lail each came up with three hits.


The two teams will conclude their four-game series with a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 12 p.m.