EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - University of Southern Indiana Softball settled for a Great Lakes Valley Conference doubleheader split with visiting Truman State University Sunday afternoon on Senior Day. The No. 5 Screaming Eagles earned a 9-5 win over the Bulldogs in the opener before falling, 7-3, in the nightcap.
Following the games, USI honored its senior class of outfielder Grace Clark (Indianapolis, Indiana), infielder Sadie Foster (Plainfield, Indiana), catcher Haley Hodges (Portage, Indiana), outfielder Alisha Ludwig (Terre Haute, Indiana) and shortstop Lexi Reese (Lebanon, Indiana) as part of its Senior Day Festivities.
USI (39-9, 18-6 GLVC) concludes its 2017 regular-season home schedule Monday at 11 a.m. when it hosts Quincy University for Awareness Day. The Hawks (15-25, 7-17 GLVC) lost both ends of a GLVC twin bill to host Bellarmine University Sunday in Louisville, Kentucky.
Game 1 | Southern Indiana 9, Truman State 5
Senior shortstop Lexi Reese (Lebanon, Indiana) went 3-of-5 with a home run, double and career-high five RBIs as the Eagles won a wild game one.
Reese opened the game with a solo home run in the bottom of the first inning to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead; then had an RBI-single in a three-run second inning that lifted USI to a 4-0 advantage.
Truman (32-18, 15-9 GLVC) got a lead-off home run from senior catcher Lex Van Nostrand in the top of the fourth inning to get on the scoreboard; then tacked on two more tallies to trim USI's advantage to one run.
Reese's three-run double in the Eagles' five-run fifth inning gave USI a 7-3 advantage, while an RBI-double by junior first baseman Marleah Fossett (Brownsburg, Indiana) put USI up, 8-3. Senior outfielder Grace Clark (Indianapolis, Indiana) drove in the Eagles' fifth run of the inning as USI built an insurmountable six-run edge.
The Bulldogs, however, made a late charge in the top of the seventh inning as a two-run home run by freshman third baseman Alyssa Rivera trimmed USI's lead to four runs. Back-to-back singles following the home run chased USI freshman pitcher Jennifer Leonhardt (Louisville, Kentucky) out of the game.
Sophomore pitcher/outfielder Caitlyn Bradley (Forest, Indiana), however, came into the contest to get back-to-back outs to preserve USI's win. Leonhardt (23-1) earned her 20th straight win after giving up five runs off nine hits in 6.1 innings of work, while Bradley racked up her team-best third save of the year.
Game 2 | Truman State 7, Southern Indiana 3
Truman scored six unanswered runs to turn a 3-1 deficit into 7-3 victory over USI in the nightcap.
USI, which saw an eight-game winning streak end with the loss, scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning to take a 2-1 lead. The Eagles scored their first tally on a wild pitch, while Clark had an RBI-single to give USI the one-run cushion.
The Eagles tacked on another tally in the third inning to extend their lead to 3-1; but the Bulldogs got a solo home run from sophomore designated player Morgan McMahan in the fourth frame and a two-out, RBI-single from Rivera in the fifth to tie the contest at 3-3.
Another two-out single in the sixth inning off the bat of junior outfielder Riley Cook gave the Bulldogs a 4-3 lead; then a three-run seventh frame staked Truman to a commanding four-run advantage.
USI got back-to-back hits to lead off the last half of the seventh inning, but a hard-luck double-play ball took momentum out of the Eagles' charge as they could not overcome the deficit.
Bradley (6-3) was charged with the loss after giving up five runs, four earned, off 10 hits in seven innings of work. Sophomore pitcher Courtney Atkisson (Bringhurst, Indiana) relieved Bradley for a brief moment in the seventh inning but was tagged for two runs off three hits before giving the ball back to Bradley to finish the frame.