Saturday Split with Valpo Leaves Ladies Waiting
Saturday, April 28, 2007

Files associated with this release:
CC-Valpo #1 4-28-07
CC-Valpo #2 4-28-07

Senior Dana Davis

Senior Micah Rhodes

SHREVEPORT—The Centenary softball team entered its final weekend of regular season play looking for a sweep over Valparaiso for its best chance to earn a spot in the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament. The Ladies won Friday evening and took the first game Saturday 7-1, but the Crusaders pulled out a 5-1 extra inning victory in the series finale to keep Centenary at bay. Now the Ladies will wait to see how the rest of the conference season plays out next weekend.


Centenary (22-25, 6-6 Mid-Con) exploded for six runs in the second inning of the first game Saturday and put Valpo away early. The Ladies collected five hits in the rally and sent 11 batters to the plate in the frame.


Haley Bassett singled up the middle with the bases loaded to score seniors Micah Rhodes and Dana Davis, both playing in the final regular season game of their four-year careers. Emerald Doria, Lauren Flowers, and Rhodes, batting for the second time in the inning, all singled to combine for four more runs.


With the large lead, Ladies pitcher Ryan Thacker (7-6) sailed to the easy victory, giving up one run on six hits and five strikeouts over six innings. Valparaiso starter Chris Halstead was saddled with only her second loss on the year against nine wins.


Game two was a tight contest throughout. Valparaiso (25-13, 7-5 Mid-Con) struck first in the top of the third inning, scoring after a double from Ashley Wolter, a sacrifice bunt, and an RBI groundout by Megan Carroll.


The Ladies quickly responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning. Singles from Kelsey Greeson and Doria put two runners on and Lin Virdell’s bloop single just inside the first base line tied the game for Centenary.


Neither team could put together a successful offensive attack the rest of the way and the game moved to extra innings.


In the Crusaders’ at-bat in the eighth, Taylor Callahan laced a double down the right field line to spark the visitors. A single and an intentional walk to load the bases brought Beth Adamski to the batter’s box. Adamski, just 1-for-10 in the series to this point, fell behind 0-2 and seemed to injure herself on a foul ball. After a lengthy conference with Valpo head coach Randy Schneider to make sure she was able to continue, Adamski drove a double to right field to put the Crusaders on top 3-1.


Tracy Korth put the final nail in the coffin with a two-run single up the middle to put the game out of reach for Centenary.


Andrea Zappia (7-7) pitched all eight innings for Valparaiso, allowing just four hits and one run with six strikeouts.


Stacy Whitmer gave up four hits and a run in 4.1 innings for the Ladies, but Greeson took the loss (8-11) after surrendering all four runs in the eighth inning.


Doria finished 3-for-6 with two runs and an RBI on the day for Centenary. Virdell also went 3-for-6 at the plate and Rhodes was 2-for-4 with four walks in her final regular season swings.       


With a bye next weekend, the final weekend of Mid-Con play, the Ladies must hope for some help. Centenary’s best chance to advance to the tournament, hosted by Centenary on May 11th and 12th, rides on the shoulders of the Valparaiso team that just left Shreveport.


Assuming all remaining games get played and weather does not force any cancellations, the Crusaders must play better than .500 ball over their final six games to keep from falling below Centenary in the standings. If the teams finish with the same win percentage, the Ladies hold the head-to-head tiebreaker after winning two of the three games this weekend. Valpo’s remaining schedule includes three home games with Western Illinois (8-2 Mid-Con) and three road games at Oakland (8-4 Mid-Con).