USI Softball Gets Another Split Down South - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

USI Softball Gets Another Split Down South

SPARTANBURG, SC (WFIE) -

The University of Southern Indiana softball team earned a split for the third-straight and final day at the Mid-South Classic in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The Screaming Eagles opened the morning with a heartbreaking 6-4 loss to 19th-ranked Lenoir-Rhyne University before earning a 10-6 triumph over Lincoln Memorial University to close the road trip.
 
In the day's first contest, the Eagles jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning on a two-run double by freshman Caitlyn Bradley. Just an inning before, the Eagles took a 2-1 lead on a pair of doubles by juniors Lexi Reese and Grace Clark.
 
Lenoir-Rhyne tallied two runs in the top of sixth to cut the USI advantage to 4-3. USI could not push a run across to increase their lead in the bottom of the sixth.
 
The 19th-ranked Bears took advantage in the top of the seventh, scoring three runs and taking a 6-4 lead over the Eagles and forcing a pitching change. Despite brining up the top of the lineup, USI was unable to manufacture a comeback in the bottom of the seventh.
 
Freshman Haylee Smith got the start in the circle for the Eagles, the second of her career, pitching 6.2 innings, allowing five earned runs on 10 hits, while striking out four. Fellow freshman Courtney Atkisson came on to finish out the final third of an inning.
 
Bradley led the Eagles with a 3-for-4 performance, notching two RBIs, as USI recorded just five hits on the morning.
 
In the final contest of the classic, USI fell behind 5-0 after just two innings, but had plenty runs saved up.
 
USI began the comeback in the bottom half of the second inning when senior Janna Green doubled to left cent to drive in Lexi Reese to cut the Rail Splitters' lead to 5-1. The Eagles continued to mount a charge in the fourth inning, as Reese and freshman Lindsey Barr each smashed two-run home runs to center field to knot the game up at 5-5.
 
In the fifth inning, the Eagles received a lift from senior veteran Haley Hodges, as the Portage, Indiana native slammed a two-run home run to center field that scored Bradley and pushed USI ahead 7-5.
 
The landslide would continue, as the Eagles added three more tallies on their fourth home run of the game, this time on a three-run jack by Caitlyn Bradley to take a 10-5 lead.
 
Lincoln Memorial would attempt a comeback in the top of the seventh, but could only muster a single run.
 
Senior Sarah Owens started in the circle for USI, but was pulled after 1.1 innings of work, giving up four runs on seven hits. Atkisson entered in relief for just two-thirds of an inning of work, allowing just one hit.  Caitlyn Bradley completed her coming-out party of a day with the pitching victory, going five innings in relief, allowing five hits and one run, while striking out four.

The Eagles head south once again March 4-9 for 10 games at The Spring Games in Clermont, Florida.

Courtesy:  USI Sports Information Dept.    copyright 2016, WFIE, all rights reserved.

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