USI Softball gets tournament bid

The University of Southern Indiana softball team received an at-large bid to play in the NCAA II Midwest Region Tournament in an announcement made by the national office Monday morning.

USI (29-20), the No. 6 seed, is making its first trip to the NCAA II Tournament since 2006 and its fourth in program history. The Screaming Eagles are one of four teams to play in the Grand Valley State University bracket Friday through Sunday, with the winner advancing to play in the best-of-three NCAA II Midwest Super-Regional May 17-18 at a site to be determined.

The Eagles open the tournament Friday at 11 a.m. (CDT) against the University of Missouri-St. Louis (39-11), which earned the No. 3 seed after winning the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament Sunday. The Tritons swept the Eagles in a GLVC doubleheader back in March in the only meeting between the two teams.

Grand Valley State (39-6), the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference regular-season champion and the No. 2 seed, will play fellow GLIAC foe Ferris State University Friday at 1:30 p.m. in the opening round. Ferris State (29-14), which lost to USI, 4-0, at the Rebel Spring Games two months ago, is the No. 7 seed in the tournament.

If the Eagles win their opening round game, they will play the winner of the Grand Valley State-Ferris State game Saturday at 10 a.m. A loss in the opening-round game would force the Eagles to play the loser of the Grand Valley State-Ferris State game in the elimination bracket Saturday at 12:30 p.m.

The other four-team sub-regional will be hosted by the No. 1 seed, the University of Indianapolis. UIndy opens the tournament against Wayne State University, which earned the No. 8 seed and an automatic bid after winning the GLIAC Tournament Sunday.

Lewis University, the No. 4 seed and GLVC Tournament runner-up, will face the GLIAC's Ashland University, which earned the No. 5 seed.

USI is led by sophomores Brooke Harmening (Whiteland, Indiana) and MacKenzi Dorsam (Dubois, Indiana). Harmening, a first-team All-GLVC East Division performer, is hitting .331 with 15 doubles, eight home runs, and 44 RBIs; while Dorsam, a second-team All-GVLC East Division selection, is hitting .354 with 13 doubles, three home runs, and 30 RBIs.

Juniors Teri Newmaster (Elberfeld, Indiana) and Kelsey Jankowski (Cedar Lake, Indiana) also have contributed to the Eagles' offense. Newmaster, an Academic All-District IV honoree, is second on the team with a .336 batting average; while Jankowski, a second-team All-GLVC East Division performer, is second on the team with six home runs and 38 RBIs.

Freshmen Janna Green (Glenwood, Indiana) and Kaitlyn England (Danville, Indiana), both of whom earned second-team All-GLVC East Division accolades, round out the Eagles' list of .300 hitters. Green is hitting .329 with 18 RBIs, while England is hitting .307 with 12 RBIs.

Harmening (20-11) leads the Eagles in the pitching circle with a 1.86 ERA, 150 strikeouts, and a .198 opponent batting average, while freshman Sarah Owens (Indianapolis, Indiana) is 8-8 with a 3.29 ERA and 62 strikeouts.