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April 23, 2011


Contact: Dana Harvey, Director
Clark Atlanta University
Office Phone: 404-880-6685

Lady Panthers Come Up Short in Conference Tournament

Columbus, GA.-Dreams of a conference championship for the Clark Atlanta University women’s softball team came down to two outs, bases loaded, and a full count in the bottom of the seventh inning. It is the perfect scenario that all ball players relish in the opportunity to be a hero for the moment, but Kentucky State University pitcher Lorena Villamar played the spoiler and caught the CAU batter staring down a strike traveling straight across the plate to advance the Thorobrettes into the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference women’s softball championship game with a 4-3 victory over Clark Atlanta Saturday at the Commons Softball Complex in Columbus, GA.

Villamar, who pitched a complete game, gave up only four hits after relinquishing two Clark Atlanta homeruns in the first inning including a two-run blast by Ashley Brooks and a solo shot by Lakeisha Pruitt. Shenazz Burrell recorded two RBIs including a single to centerfield that put Kentucky State up for good.

With the loss, the Lady Panthers were eliminated from the tournament and finished in third place. CAU completed this year with a single-season record for the most wins (32). 

April 22, 2011

CAU Loses a Tough Battle, but Stays Alive in Tournament

Columbus, GA. - The semifinal game of the 2011 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference women’s softball tournament between the number one seed Lady Wildcats of Fort Valley State University (FVSU) and the number two seed Lady Panthers of Clark Atlanta University (CAU) was a slug fest between the only two teams remaining without a tournament loss. It was Fort Valley who prevailed over Clark Atlanta with the 9-7 decision in the late night match-up Friday at the South Commons Softball Complex in Columbus, Ga.

In a game that posted several lead changes, CAU held a 6-5 advantage at the top of fifth on a single by Elizabeth Handy that scored Kenisha Gibson from second. Fort Valley then reclaimed the lead with two runs in the bottom of the fifth and never looked back.

Clark Atlanta will face Kentucky State Saturday, April 23, at 10 a.m., and the winner will advance to the championship game against Fort Valley at 12 p.m.

 April 22, 2011

Handy Propels Lady Panthers into Softball Semi-Finals

Columbus, GA.– A two-run blast by Clark Atlanta University Freshman Elizabeth Handy in extra innings sends the Lady Panthers to the semi-final of the 2011 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with a 2-0 win over the west division top-seed Tuskegee University Friday at the South Commons Softball Complex in Columbus, Ga.

Handy’s homerun in the top of the eighth-inning snapped a scoreless game through regulation. With the loss, Tuskegee dropped to the loser bracket to take on Claflin University. The Lady Panthers continue in the winner’s bracket and will face Fort Valley State tonight at 8 p.m.


 March 21, 2011

 Senior Lakeisha Pruitt

Lady Panthers Finish Undefeated in SIAC Cross-Over Tournament

Atlanta, Ga.
– Senior catcher Lakeisha Pruitt and junior pitcher Ashley Brooks carried the Clark Atlanta University Lady Panthers softball team to an impressive 6-0 record last week as they dominated play over the three-day Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Cross-Over Tournament in Jasper, Alabama.
The cross-over tournament gives the east-west division conference teams an opportunity to play each other before the conference tournament.

Pruitt, the east division most valuable player, recorded a .529 batting average with four doubles and one homerun. Her performance behind the plate against LeMoyne Owen featured a homerun, a double, five RBIs and three runs scored.

Brooks finished the tournament 5-0 as the Panthers’ starting pitcher with wins over Lane, Tuskegee, Miles, Kentucky State and her first shut-out of the season, 4-0, against Stillman College Saturday. In addition to her defensive play, Brooks was a force at the plate slamming four homeruns and 11 RBIs before receiving the east division All-Tournament team honors.
The Lady Panthers took care of business beginning last Thursday downing Tuskegee 4-3 and LeMoyne Owen 13-0. On the mound, senior pitcher Synne Baker recorded her first shut-out of the season in the win against LeMoyne Owen which was the team’s first shut-out of the season as well as the second of the tournament.

Clark Atlanta followed up with 9-4 victory against Kentucky State. Freshman Elizabeth Handy, who is second on the team with a .444 batting average, rocked two homeruns and five RBIs and scored four runs in a 15-4 rout of Miles College Friday.

CAU thumped Lane College 22-3 to close out the tournament Saturday. As a team, the Lady Panthers outscored their opponents 67-14 in the tournament while Brooks and Baker pitched all complete games for a combined 31 innings and threw 20 strikeouts.

Clark Atlanta is on an eight-game winning streak and improves to 19-11 overall and 10-6 in the conference. The Lady Panthers resume play at home Thursday, March 24, in a 4 p.m., match-up against Benedict College.


March 10, 2011

Lady Panthers Increase Record to 11 wins

Atlanta, GA
-The Clark Atlanta University Lady Panthers softball team is on a roll winning seven of their last eight games with wins over Johnson C. Smith, Voorhees College, Claflin University and Kentucky State behind the offensive play of Brittany Brackenridge, LaKeisha Pruitt and Ashley Brooks to improve its overall record to 11 wins and seven loses.

In the last five games, Brackenridge, this week’s SIAC Co-Player of the Week, has recorded a .438 batting average with 5 RBIs, four runs scored and two homeruns including a two-run walk-off blast in the bottom of the seventh inning to seal the victory for the Lady Panthers over Claflin 12-10 in game two of their double-header.

CAU dropped its only contest in its annual invitational tournament held March 4-5, to Savannah State
3-6 before the remaining games of the tournament were rained out.

Pruitt led the team with three homeruns during the eight-game stretch while Ashley Brooks finished with four RBIs and scored six runs along with Pruitt.

Clark Atlanta topped Voorhees College 13-3 and 15-7 Wednesday commencing a three-game road swing through South Carolina. The Lady Panthers will face conference foe Benedict College Friday before a re-match with Claflin Saturday.

In a three pitcher rotation, Brooks, who also plays first base, is 3-4 on the season; Synne Baker has recorded four wins and two losses while Maritiza Yarbough is perfect with two wins and one save.

The Lady Panthers have improved their east division conference record to 2-2 with two consecutive wins and will host Edward Waters College Tuesday, March 15, in a 3 p.m., double-header at Panther Stadium.


February 28, 2011

Lady Panthers Topple Spelman

Atlanta, GA- The bats came alive for the Lady Panthers of Clark Atlanta University softball team (4-6) as they rocked AUC rival Spelman College 11-0 and 24-15 at home Friday.

CAU shortstop Brittany Brackenridge slammed a three-run shot over the left field fence adding to CAU’s total runs of 11 in the first inning. Catcher LaKeisha Pruitt finished with three RBIs on a single and a triple and pitcher Synne Baker recorded her second win of the season.

Spelman scored 15 runs in game two while second baseman Diamond Lee hit a triple and a double and recorded four RBIs to help CAU reach 24 runs. Ashley Brooks got the save for the Lady Panthers along with one RBI while Maritza Yarbough was the winning pitching. Rae Grimm, Marcia Bowens, and Brittany Gaston recorded RBIs. With the two wins, Clark Atlanta improves to 4-6 overall.

Clark Atlanta is gearing up for a five game home stretch this week beginning with conference opponent Kentucky State as they celebrate Facilities Day and recognize those employees who works with the team during the softball season. To commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness, the Lady Panthers and Claflin University will wear PINK uniforms in support of the fight against breast cancer for their game Thursday, March 3, at 3 p.m. Everyone in attendance is also encouraged to wear pink at the game.

The Lady Panthers will host five teams in their annual softball invitational tournament commencing Friday, March 4, as Fort Valley State battles Savannah State in game one at 11 a.m. In game three, CAU will take on Savannah State at 3 p.m. For all game times please see the full tournament schedule below. All CAU home softball games are played at Panther Field.

2011 Softball Invitational Tournament Schedule

Friday March 4th
11:00 a.m. Fort Valley vs. Savannah State
1:00 p.m.   Paine vs. Claflin
3:00 p.m.   Savannah State vs. Clark Atlanta
5:00 p.m.   Albany State vs. Fort Valley

Saturday March 5th
9:00 a.m.   Paine vs. Savannah State
11:00 a.m. Savannah State vs. Claflin 
1:00 p.m.   Fort Valley vs. Clark Atlanta
3:00 p.m.   Albany State v. Savannah State
5:00 p.m.   Paine vs. Albany State


February 2, 2011

Three Lady Panthers Receive All-Conference Honors

Atlanta, GA- Clark Atlanta University senior catcher Lakeisha Pruitt, the reigning 2010 SIAC Player of the Year, heads the 2011 softball pre-season all-conference team released this week.

The powerful duo of Pruitt and fellow first team selection, pitcher Ashley Brooks, were ranked among the nation’s top hitters last season. They led the SIAC with 20 homeruns which placed them fourth nationally. Pruitt finished in the top 10 nationally in three other statistical categories including second in slugging percentage (1.105), fifth in batting average (.493), and fourth in homeruns per game (4)

“This season we are expecting a lot of heavy hitting with Pruitt and Brooks returning along with our 2010 recruits who will add to that home run explosiveness,” said Head Coach Lawanda Pearson.

Senior relief pitcher Synne Baker received second team recognition.
CAU finished fourth in the SIAC East after falling to Benedict in the conference tournament. The Lady Panthers open the season with two home games Feb. 12th and 13th, against Fort Valley State and Voorhees College, respectively. They will take their first road trip to play in Savannah State’s tournament (Feb. 19th-20th) before returning for a five game home stretch starting with AUC rival Spelman (3/25).

Clark Atlanta will host Savannah State, Fort Valley State, Paine College, Claflin, Bishop State and Albany State in its sixth annual softball invitational. The Lady Panthers will wrap up their season with two non-conference games against Fisk University (4/10) and Shaw University (4/17) then head into the SIAC tournament April 20-23 in Columbus, GA.

“This year has to be our year for a conference championship,” said Pearson.