CLERMONT, FLA (WFIE) - University of Southern Indiana Softball suffered a pair of losses Sunday evening at The Spring Games. The Screaming Eagles fell to No. 14 Grand Valley State University, 2-0, in a Midwest Region bout to open the day, before falling to Wilmington University (Delaware), 4-2, in the nightcap.
USI’s bats struggled to get anything going throughout the day as the Eagles were held to a combined .146 team batting average. The Eagles return to action Tuesday at 8:15 a.m. (CST) when they take on Midwest Region opponent Ashland University in Kissimmee, Florida. USI also plays Midwest Region foe Walsh University Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. Both games will be aired live on 95.7 The Spin.
#14 Grand Valley State (5-1) 2, USI 0: A solo home run in the bottom of the second inning and a sacrifice fly in the fourth were the difference in the game as the Eagles suffered a 2-0 setback. USI was held to just two hits, but strong pitching effort by junior Jennifer Leonhardt(Louisville, Kentucky) and senior Haylee Smith (Florence, Kentucky) kept the Eagles in contention against a team that was averaging eight runs and 10 hits per game coming into the contest. Leonhardt (5-2) was charged with the loss after giving up two runs off five hits in four innings of work. Smith held the Lakers to just one hit throughout two innings of work.
Wilmington (1-0) 4, USI 2: The Eagles could not overcome a 3-0 deficit as they suffered their second straight loss. Wilmington used a “small ball” strategy and timely hitting to score a tally in the top of the first inning; then capitalized on a leadoff walk and back-to-back singles to score a pair of runs in the sixth. USI, which came up empty in the fifth inning after having runners at the corners and no outs, finally broke through on the scoreboard in the last part of the sixth inning when junior shortstop Taylor Ricketts (Georgetown, Kentucky) hit a two-run single to centerfield. After a Wilmington run in the top of the frame, the Eagles brought the tying run to the plate with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, but a fly out to right field ended the Eagles’ hopes of a comeback.Senior pitcher/outfielder Caitlyn Bradley (Forest, Indiana) was charged with the loss after giving up three runs off seven hits in five-plus innings of work. Bradley (1-2) had four strikeouts and issued one walk in the loss.