Nationally-ranked Vikings too much for Colonels on Senior Day

Nationally-ranked Vikings too much for Colonels on Senior Day

DANVILLE, Ky. – Centre softball dropped a pair of games against No. 7 Berry Friday, falling by scores of 15-0 and 8-0 at South Campus Field. 

The Colonels move to 17-15 overall and 9-8 in the Southern Athletic Association, while the Vikings, who already clinched the conference regular season title, improve to 32-4 (15-1 SAA). 

Between games, the Colonels celebrated the careers of seniors Erica Arbuckle (Carmel, Ind.), Erika Brewer (Frenchburg, Ky.), Lauren Richards (Danville, Ky.) and Ellen Stephens (Louisville, Ky.).

GAME ONE: #7 Berry 15, Centre 0

The first four innings of game one were nip-and-tuck, with Brewer and Berry starter Kassie Howard battling in the circle.

In the third, the Vikings put runners on second and third with just one out, but Brewer got Berry's two- and three-hole batters to pop out and end the frame. 

Centre's first true threat came in the bottom of the fourth, when it loaded the bases on two walks and a hit-by-pitch. Howard settled in, though, and got out of the inning with a strikeout. 

Berry hung the game's first crooked number in the fifth, when Bayleigh Masterson hit a two-out, three-run homer. Elisabeth Federici followed with a solo homerun, making it 4-0.

The Vikings plated three more – two earned – in the sixth, upping their lead to 7-0 while chasing Brewer, and put the game out of reach with eight more in the seventh.

A pinch-hit single from Charlotte Mabbs (Olivette, Mo.) with one out in the bottom of the seventh broke up Howard's no-hit bit. 

Howard, who entered the game eighth among all NCAA Division III pitchers in ERA, struck out nine in the victory.

GAME TWO: #7 Berry 8, Centre 0

The Vikings jumped on Centre's Torey Hawkins (Frankfort, Ky.) in the top of the first, getting a two-run homerun from Brooke Whittemore.

Hawkins would keep the Vikings' bats at bay over the next few innings, allowing only a pair of hits until Berry's big six-run fifth inning.

Berry scored those six runs on six hits and a pair of Colonel errors. 

That proved sufficient, as the Vikings won by run rule in five innings. 

The series wraps up Saturday at 8 a.m. ET. Stay tuned to and @CentreAthletics on Twitter for any schedule updates.