SHREVEPORT, La. – The Ladies Softball team, who qualified for the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference for the fourth straight season last weekend, looks to extend its three game winning streak when it hosts Texas Lutheran for senior day Friday afternoon, April 19.
"The 10 members of this year's senior class has been a part of tremendous improvement in the softball program in the last four years," said head coach Mark Suire. "Their hard work and dedication to the program's mission has positively impacted the softball program and laid a solid foundation for the future. The Centenary coaching staff would like to thank the senior class for their leadership and dedication to a cause greater than themselves.
"We wish you the best of luck in all your endeavors and hope that you will cherish the memories you've created as members of the Centenary Softball program," Suire added.
Senior Celebration, Part 2 (Article 1)
Due to such a large number of graduating seniors, the class will be divided into two separate articles. Article two will look at senior Kelcie Bourgeois, Wendy Gillet, Cassie Gonzales, Amberlee Nix, and Margeaux Smith.
Note: All records are for the Ladies Softball NCAA Division III era only (2012-present)
Kelcie Bourgeois began her career as a pitcher for the Ladies, but transitioned into an outfielder for her senior season. She comes into the weekend 1-3 in the circle, picking up a complete game win at Rust, a Ladies 17-0 win, her freshman season. In the Ladies 16-2 win against Austin this season, she scored a run and drove in a pair with her first collegiate double.
A biology major, Kelcie plans to attend medical school after graduation.
Her favorite memory is when the coaches decided to move her from the circle to the outfield and how excited her teammates got every time she got on base or made a play. "Their continued support and positive attitudes have made this year fun and memorable," said Bourgeois.
Wendy Gillet comes in to Friday's action as one of the best hitters during Centenary's Division III era, being named All-Conference each of the first three seasons. She ranks first in doubles (50) and sacrifice flies (12), second in slugging percentage (.532), hits (156), and RBIs (117), third in runs scored (63), fourth in average (.355), and fifth in on-base percentage (.409). She was also the best freshman in the conference in 2016, finishing second in the conference in average (.410), hits (59), and doubles (16), and fourth in home runs (four).
Last season, she was named to the SCAC All-Tournament team after helping Centenary finish third for the second time in three seasons.
A psychology major with a minor in English at Centenary, Gillet was named to the SCAC's Academic Honor Roll following her freshman and sophomore seasons. At Centenary, she is very involved as a Maroon Jacket and also served as First Vice President of Zeta Tau Alpha.
After graduation, Gillet plans to obtain an elementary teaching position, which she currently is working toward her teaching certification to allow her to teach on core subjects and special education. She also plans to enter an online master's program to receive her master's in education.
Last year at the conference tournament, hitting a walkoff grand slam to extend the Ladies season was pretty special to her, but her favorite memory is having her father in the stands for every single game of her collegiate career. "It is something I will cherish forever," says Gillet. "Without him, I would never have had this opportunity and I owe all my favorite Centenary softball memories to him."
Cassie Gonzales will finish her Centenary career having played in more than 130 games and is a career .295 hitter. She also ranks third in career hits, coming into the day just shy of 100.
A psychology major at Centenary, she plans to take a gap year following graduation and work as a therapy technician at Willis Knighton outpatient clinic before continuing her education to become an occupational therapist.
Gonzales' favorite memory was when former Ladies Softball player Mallory Ford taught her and her teammates the secret of hitting. "Before I finish my collegiate career, I was able to pass down the secret to my younger teammates," said Gonzales.
Amberlee Nix transferred to Centenary prior to the 2018 season and has started 20 games for the Ladies in the circle. She has five wins this season and four complete games.
Prior to her career at Centenary, she was named the 2016 NJCAA Top Incoming Freshman at Hinds as well as the May 2016 Athlete of the Month and Academic All-State in 2017.
A history major at Centenary, Nix plans to go to law school at LSU and become a lawyer. Groups she is involved with at Centenary include the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She has been inducted into numerous National Honorary Societies, including Phi Alpha Theta for history, Psi Sigma Alpha for political Science, and Chi Alpha Sigma, the National Student-Athlete Honorary. She has appeared on the Dean's List at Centenary in every semester and was named to the SCAC Academic Honors List in 2018.
Nix explained her favorite memory was on the way home from Dallas this season. "We ate Braum's Ice Cream, and let's just say the team bonded in a special way that we had to make an emergency stop at Bucees. It was genuinely one of the funniest things I've ever Witnessed and I'll remember it forever."
Finally, Margeaux Smith is playing in her final regular season games at Centenary after a three-year career. With more than 75 career hits, Smith also appeared in the circle 16 times in her Ladies softball career, including a 4-4 record and a save with two complete games her junior year. She also holds the Ladies record for hit by pitches during her career.
Smith garnered Honorable Mention All-Conference accolades her junior season and was named All-Tournament in 2016 after helping the Ladies finish third in the conference.
A mathematics major at Centenary, Smith was named to the SCAC Academic Honor's List following the 2016 and 2018 seasons and was inducted into the National Student-Athlete Honor Society, Chi Alpha Sigma, in 2018. She also serves as a math tutor and received the Virginia Carleton Award for her performance in calculus last year. After graduation, she plans to pursue her master's degree in teaching and become a high school math teacher and softball coach.
There are just too many memories for Smith to pick one favorite "Centenary softball has given me so many memories on and off the field that it's impossible to choose one," explained Smith. "I am eternally grateful for Centenary softball giving me countless memories and unforgettable friendships. It's been a pleasure spending every day with people I call family."
In all, 10 seniors will be recognized following the doubleheader Friday afternoon. However, it will not be their final collegiate games in Shreveport. The Ladies host the 2019 SCAC Softball Tournament next weekend, April 26-28. Game times and seeding will be announced following the conclusion of the season.