Doria's Grand Slam Lifts Ladies over Valpo 6-5
Friday, April 27, 2007

Files associated with this release:
CC-Valpo Box Score 4-27-07

Emerald Doria

Kelsey Greeson

Micah Rhodes

Stacy Whitmer

Ryan Thacker

SHREVEPORT—The Centenary softball team received a huge lift in its attempt to fight its way into the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament with a come-from-behind 6-5 win over Valparaiso Friday evening. The Ladies used a grand slam from Emerald Doria to go on top and then fended off a comeback attempt from the Crusaders in the seventh.


Centenary (21-24, 5-5 Mid-Con) scratched out a run in the second inning to take a 1-0 lead over the visiting Valparaiso team. Pitcher Kelsey Greeson, rarely used as a hitter, came through with a two out single to put runners on first and third for the Ladies. Greeson and Allison McClain (on third) then pulled off a double steal for the score.


Valparaiso (24-12, 6-4 Mid-Con) roared back by popping back-to-back homeruns off of Centenary starter Stacy Whitmer in the third inning. Ashley Wolter and Taylor Callahan accomplished the feat, taking advantage of a Ladies pitching staff that has been prone to surrendering the long ball.


The Ladies tied the game at 2-2 in the fifth and could have done more damage if not for some stellar defense by the Crusaders. Doria led off by reaching base from an error, but Lauren Flowers was robbed of a hit by a diving Tracy Korth in left field. Allison Shepperd then sent a grounder up the middle that looked as if it might make it through until Shannon Robinson’s diving effort forced Doria out at second.


With two outs, Shepperd stole second base and Centenary finally received a break when Micah Rhodes’ chopper up the middle eased past the outstretched arm of the Valpo second baseman. Shepperd scored on the play and the Ladies were back in the ball game.


Just as quickly as Centenary tied the game, the Crusaders scored another run to take a 3-2 advantage in the sixth. Two hits and an intentional walk loaded the bases with one out for Valparaiso and Korth’s fly ball to left field proved deep enough to plate Megan Carroll.


In what was clearly a back and forth game, the Maroon and White put together another rally in the bottom half of the frame. Brittany Williams walked to open the inning and was erased at second on a failed sacrifice bunt by McClain. However, McClain would move up to second base as pinch hitter Lin Virdell was also issued a free pass.


Greeson, swinging a hot stick, came up with her third hit of the game to load the bases for Centenary. But Jennifer Martin’s pop out to second base became the second out of the inning and it looked as though the Ladies might miss out on a prime opportunity to push at least the tying run across. However Doria, 0-for-2 on the day to this point, turned on the first pitch she saw from Valpo pitcher Andrea Zappia and deposited it deep over the left field wall for a grand slam, putting Centenary on top 6-3.


Valparaiso put together another push in the seventh inning and managed two runs to bring the game to 6-5. Centenary coach Mark Montgomery then went to his bullpen and Ryan Thacker got Korth to foul out to the catcher with the bases loaded to end the game.


Doria’s four RBI on the one swing led all players in the game. Greeson finished 3-for-3 in her first start as a hitter and also stole two bases while Rhodes went 2-for-3 for the Ladies.


Robinson led the Valpo offensive effort, going 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.


Greeson picked up the win in relief for Centenary to improve to 8-10 on the season. She tossed 3.1 innings and allowed three runs, two earned, on six hits, four walks and two strikeouts. Whitmer gave up just the two solo homeruns in 3.1 innings of work on three total hits and two strikeouts. Thacker recorded her first save of the year, facing just one batter.


Centenary and Valparaiso will continue their important conference series on Saturday in a doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m. Live stats will be available through the website.