PREVIEW: Softball Hits Road for Three at UT-Arlington Classic
Thursday, February 24, 2011
SHREVEPORT-The Centenary softball team will hit the road this weekend for its second straight tournament as they prepare for three games at the UT-Arlington Classic, beginning Friday. The Ladies will open with Creighton at 11 am, followed by UTA at 3 pm on Friday, followed by Tulsa at 11 am on Saturday.

Centenary (0-5) is still looking for its first win of the season and first for first-year head coach Mark Lambert.

After a tough opening weekend on the road, the Centenary softball team was in search of its first win of the season when it met Grambling on Tuesday afternoon, however, the Lady Tigers secured a 6-0 shutout victory over the Ladies in non-conference action.

The Ladies (0-5) tied Grambling (5-2) in hits with six on the afternoon, but an inconsistent effort at the plate left eight runners stranded. Centenary also wasn't able to secure a sharp defensive effort, committing two errors.

Chandelle Scott has shined for the Ladies in the last three contests, posting a team-best .571 average with four hits in seven at-bats. The freshman is slugging .714 and has a team-leading .571 on base percentage as the designated hitter. Nicole Warren, another freshman has started in center field all five games this season and is hitting .417. In 12 at-bats, she has five hits.

Junior Reggie Salvatore: 13.50 ERA, 0-0, 2 AP, 4.0 IP, 8 H, 8 R, 6 ER, 6 BB, 1 SO
Senior Lauren Highsmith: 13.76 ERA, 0-4, 4 AP, 4 GS, 3 CG, 17.0 IP, 34 H, 31 R, 26 ER, 17 BB, 16 SO
Freshman Lynsi Unruh: 22.09 ERA, 0-1, 2 AP, 1 GS, 3.2 IP, 11 H, 10 R, 9 ER, 4 BB, 2 SO


Creighton is a member of the Missouri Valley Conference, located in Omaha, Nebraska. The Bluejay softball team is currently 4-1 after three of its four wins came against Summit League schools in Western Illinois (W, 1-0, 8-0) and South Dakota State (W, 6-3). Creighton is coming off a 1-0 win over WIU. The squad is led by Liz McKewon with a .429 average and six hits. Becca Changstrom looks to be the ace after posting a 3-0 record to open the season along with a 0.47 ERA. Centenary and Creighton will meet for the third time in the school's history. The Bluejays hold a 2-0 edge over the Ladies.

Located in Arlington, Texas, UTA is a member of the Southland Conference. The Mavericks enter the weekend games with a 4-5 record and are coming off a 10-4 win over Texas Southern in the Aggie Classic last weekend. UTA is led offensively by Rebecca Collom's .444 average, 12 hits, 12 RBI and three home runs. Callie Collins is 2-1 on the mound with a 2.07 team-leading ERA through 20.1 innings pitched. Centenary and UTA will meet for the 20th time in history. The Mavericks are 16-3 over the Ladies.

Tulsa is a member of Conference USA and is located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Hurricanes are currently 5-5 heading into the weekend and are riding a two-game win streak. Tulsa last beat Penn State (3-0) and Long Island (7-0). Caitlin Everett leads the team with a .424 clip, 14 hits, and four RBI, while Aimee Creger is 2-1 with a 1.50 ERA.

Mark Lambert begins his first season as the head coach of the Ladies softball program. Prior to his new role, Lambert served as an associate head coach under Mark Montgomery in 2010. His duties included assisting with on-field coaching, managing the Ladies' strength and conditioning program as well as serving as the recruiting coordinator. Lambert comes to Centenary directly from Captain Shreve High School in Shreveport, where he served as the head coach for six years. Lambert strengthened the program and guided his team to the playoffs in four of his six seasons as the head coach.

Centenary rosters two seniors on this year's squad. RHP Lauren Highsmith and outfielder Bonnie Matak. Highsmith, a Houston, Texas native, returns as a fifth year senior after redshirting her freshman season due to an injury. The righty recorded a 1-4 record last season and a 7.20 ERA. In 45.2 IP, she struck out 33. Matak started all 44 games in the outfield, primarily in left and finished 2010 hitting .244. She had 10 RBI and 31 H in 127 AB. In 58 PO, Matak didn't commit an error for a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage.

The Ladies welcome nine newcomers to the squad. Looking to lead the freshman class is Nicole Warren, who will control the outfield in centerfield. A Castor, La. native, Warren hails from Castor HS. Also looking to make an immediate impact is junior-transfer Ashley Boccaccio at second base. The Austin, Texas native comes directly from Clarendon CC, where she played two seasons. Freshman RHP Lynsi Unruh will see action on the mound. A 5-8 thrower from Houston, Texas and Langham Creek HS will look to add depth to the Ladies staff.

Centenary returns six letterwinners from last year's squad. Behind seniors Highsmith and Matak is junior first baseman Kalyn Harris (.232 avg) and junior utility player Reggie Salvatore, who will see action on the mound again this season after posting one save and a 6.24 ERA last year. Also returning is sophomore catcher Kelsey Regan, who played mainly a DP and outfield role in her first season. Regan hit .228 last year, while sophomore Bailey Boggs (.129 avg) will take over at shortstop after playing time in the outfield last season.

Centenary will play its first 11 games on the road from Feb. 18-March 15. Of those 11 games, seven will be in tournament play at UNT's Sleep Inn Classic and UTA's Invitational, while one will be a mid-week contest at Grambling, before Summit League play starts at IUPUI. The Ladies will finally return home for their opener on March 15 against Grambling at 6 pm.

The Ladies had six players make Centenary's Fall 2010 Dean's List. Representing the team with at least a 3.5 GPA was Lauren Highsmith, Phyllis Hafer, Bailey Boggs, Ashley Boccaccio, Bonnie Matak and Leah Dark.

Centenary begins a new era under Lambert, but wrapped up a 10-34 overall record a year ago and a 4-19 Summit League record. The Ladies graduated top hitters Haley Bassett (.286 avg) and Allison Shepperd (.269 avg) as well as top pitcher Sara Dornelas (9-22, 4.58 ERA) to a transfer.

Centenary will open Summit League play at IUPUI on March 11-12.