Lady Eagles advance to NCAA DII World Series - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Lady Eagles advance to NCAA DII World Series

(USI) (USI)
EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) -

University of Southern Indiana Softball captured its first-ever NCAA Division II Midwest Region title Friday as the No. 9 Screaming Eagles defeated visiting Wayne State University, 5-0, to complete a two-game sweep of the Warriors in the NCAA II Midwest Super Regional at the USI Softball Field.

USI (46-12) scored five runs in the top of the second inning to take a commanding lead. The Eagles capitalized on a passed ball on a third strike on what would have been the final out of the inning before scoring their five runs.

Following the passed ball, the Eagles got a two-run double to left-centerfield off the bat of sophomore designated player Claire Johnson (Pittsboro, Indiana) to take a 2-0 lead. Senior shortstop Lexi Reese (Lebanon, Indiana) followed with an RBI-double to leftfield, while junior first baseman Marleah Fossett (Brownsburg, Indiana) and senior outfielder Grace Clark (Indianapolis, Indiana) had RBI singles in the next three at-bats to give the Eagles the commanding five-run cushion.

Wayne State (40-16) threatened with runners at first and third with one out in the bottom of the fifth inning, but USI freshman pitcher Jennifer Leonhardt (Louisville, Kentucky) induced a pair of fly-ball outs to get out of the jam unscathed.

Leonhardt (29-2), who is 5-0 with a 0.80 ERA in 35 innings of work during the NCAA II Tournament, earned the victory after blanking the Warriors on five hits, none of which were of the extra-base variety. Leonhardt, who earned her 11th shutout of the year and first since April 9, had five strikeouts and issued just one walk in the victory.

USI will await word on who its first-round opponent will be at the NCAA II Softball Championship, which is May 25-29 in Salem, Virginia. The eight-team tournament field will be reseeded following the conclusion of all eight NCAA II Super Regionals.

Courtsey USI Athletics. Copyright 2017 WFIE. All rights reserved.

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