Turnin' Two with Allison McClain
Tuesday, March 11, 2008

3/11/08

 

Welcome back softball fans! Over the last week, we have been continuing to build on our success. Coming off of several needed wins, we hosted Grambling State last week in a double header. It was only the second time we have seen our home field since the start of the season.

 

We extended our winning streak to six wins after taking both games from Grambling. In game one of the double header, we were able to use hot hitting and dominating pitching to win 10-0 in five innings. Sophomore Allison Shepperd led the way at the plate with a 2-for-2 effort, scoring three runs, and driving in two. Senior Amy Wiedeman also belted a three run shot over the left field fence that powered our second inning offensive explosion.

 

A new face was in the lineup for the first time in a month. Junior Emerald Doria was able to cleat up after suffering an injury and she proved to be a force that was missing. On her first hit of the season, she was able to jog around the bases after delivering a huge three run shot over the outfield fence. It is nice to see her back in action.

 

Freshman Lauren Highsmith collected her first win of the season. She was able to remain composed and pitch a shutout for us giving up just two hits, five walks, and striking out seven in just five innings.

 

In game two, we seemed to come out a little slower than the first game, not scoring until the fourth inning. Though in the end, we came away with a victory heading into our tournament at Oklahoma State.

 

Sophomore Stacy Whitmer pitched a gem striking out ten batters and allowing only three hits in seven innings of work.

 

We ended last Wednesday night with two big wins heading into the weekend where we faced SFA, Texas Wesleyan, and Oklahoma State.

 

Our sleeper bus pulled out heading to Stillwater, Oklahoma on Thursday leaving behind some beautiful weather. But not more than an hour after leaving Shreveport, we come across a wintry mix of weather. After stopping for dinner on the way, we were in for a long trip—secluded in our tiny bunk beds listening to music, working on papers, and watching movies.

 

We arrived in Stillwater around 1 a.m. and went straight to bed for an early wake up in below freezing temperatures. Games were scheduled at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m., but were cancelled due to the frigid weather. As a team, we went to a movie and to a nice dinner to occupy our time. Saturday morning came and we played the first two games at 11 a.m. against SFA and 1 p.m. against Texas Wesleyan.

 

The temperatures were chilly, but playable. Against SFA, we seemed to not have what it took to beat a much-improved Lady Jack team. We came out a little complacent and not with the drive and power knowing we were riding a six game win streak at that time. The score didn’t represent who we are losing 8-0. Our lack of clutch hitting accounted for eight base runners left on base. Emerald was able to continue her hot hitting with a 3-for-3 performance at the plate, but in the end we couldn’t find a way to score a run.

 

In the second game against Texas Wesleyan, we were able to come out and regain a sense of who we are at the plate and on the field. We connected on 11 hits as a team and fought to put up 11 runs.

 

After day one, we were treated to dinner at Eskimo Joes, Stillwater’s famous restaurant. On Sunday, the final day of the tournament, we faced host Oklahoma State for the third time this season. After two disturbing opening season losses to the Cowgirls, we felt a need for revenge. In the end, the scoreboard left the Cowgirls on top 5-1, but we played well in all aspects of the game.

 

We scored first in the second inning after sophomore Haley Bassett led off with a single and was moved to third on two consecutive grounders. Amy then delivered a sharp hit ball down right the field line scoring Haley to put us ahead.

 

Oklahoma State was able to take a few key plays and delivered a few runs off of sophomore starter Ryan Thacker. She held the Cowgirls until about the fifth inning when they had a few lucky breaks and scored two runs.

 

In the final game of the tournament for a third place finish, we faced Texas Wesleyan once again. This time, we weren’t shy to put a few runs on the board early as we plated seven runs in the first inning off of key hits and sacrifice groundouts and fly balls.

 

Stacy took control on the mound not allowing a run until the fifth inning. Because of our long trip home to Shreveport and this game not beginning until 4 p.m., we were determined to find a way to end it early and that we did. With two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning, junior Leslie Postles singled and was driven in off a triple by senior Jennifer Martin. JMar scored off of a game ending single up the middle off the bat of freshman Caitlin Cavarra.

 

Overall, this weekend ended on a better note than it started. We survived the long trek home and rolled into Shreveport at around 2 a.m. to find ourselves in classes bright and early that morning.

 

We host South Alabama at home on Wednesday before entering Summit League play this weekend at home as well. IUPUI comes to our home field for the opening of the most anticipated part of our season. Play will begin on Friday with a double-header beginning at 4 p.m. and a single game on Saturday at 12 p.m.

 

Come out and cheer us on to victory! See you next week!

 

“I come to play everyday.” –David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox

 

For the love of the game,

-Allison McClain