EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - University of Southern Indiana sophomore pitcher Jennifer Leonhardt (Louisville, Kentucky) and sophomore outfielder Allison Schubert (Nicholasville, Kentucky) were named to the Division II Conference Commissioner's Association Softball All-Midwest Region team in a vote by the region's sports information directors.
Leonhardt is earning All-Region honors for the second consecutive year after posting a 19-12 record, a 2.62 ERA, a .212 opponent batting average and 219 strikeouts. She is the second player in program history and the first since Karianne Osowski in 1995 to reach the 200 strikeout plateau in a single season and is just 11 shy of the single-season mark.
Schubert, who also was named second-team All-Midwest Region by the NFCA, has compiled a .335 batting average with 11 doubles, one triple, 11 home runs and 45 RBIs. She is the seventh player in program history to hit 10 or more home runs in a single season and is five RBIs shy of becoming the fifth player in program history to record 50 RBIs in a single campaign. Her 11 home runs in 2018 are currently tied for fifth on USI's single-season list, while her 45 RBIs are tied for eighth.
USI (34-23) returns to action Thursday at 1:30 p.m. when it travels to Springfield, Illinois, to take on the University of Illinois Springfield in game one of the NCAA II Midwest Super Regional. Game two is slated for Friday at noon, while game three, if necessary, is Friday at 2:30 p.m.
Live stats and audio links can be accessed at GoUSIEagles.com, while 95.7 The Spin will carry the game on the radio. Due to UIS hosting both the NCAA II Midwest Super Regional and the NCAA II Midwest Region Baseball Tournament, live video availability is to be determined.
USI Softball Notes
• USI Softball back in Super Regionals. USI Softball earned their second straight trip to the NCAA II Midwest Super Regional by going 3-1 at the NCAA II Midwest Region #1 Tournament. The No. 5-seeded Eagles opened the weekend with an 8-1 win over No. 4 seed Indianapolis before topping the No. 8 seed, Hillsdale, 9-0, in five innings. Top-seed and No. 9 ranked Grand Valley State forced an "if necessary" game with its 5-3 win over USI in the opener Sunday; but the Eagles bounced back with a 2-1 win over the Lakers to advance.
• Last week's leaders (at the plate). Senior outfielder Olivia Clark-Kittleson hit .625 with a double and six runs scored to lead the Eagles at the plate at the NCAA II Midwest Region #1 Tournament. Sophomore pitcher Jennifer Leonhardt hit .400 with a double and four RBIs, while junior second baseman Claire Johnson and sophomore outfielder Allison Schubert each drove in four runs.
• Last week's leaders (in the circle). Leonhardt went 2-1 with a 3.07 ERA and 12 strikeouts, while junior pitcher Haylee Smith was 1-0 with a 0.57 ERA.
• Post-season leaders. Clark-Kittleson is hitting .500 with a double, home run and three RBIs to lead the Eagles, who are 7-1 in the post-season. Senior first baseman Marleah Fossett is hitting .409 with two home runs, two doubles and nine RBIs, while Leonhardt and Johnson are each hitting better than .360 with five RBIs apiece. Schubert has driven in eight runs. Leonhardt is 5-1 with a 1.82 ERA and 38 strikeouts during the post-season, while Smith is 1-0 with a 0.49 ERA in three appearances.
• Eagles win GLVC Tournament. The Eagles GLVC Tournament win was their first since 1998 and the fourth in program history.
• Back in the NCAA II Tournament. USI is in the NCAA II Tournament for the fourth consecutive year and fifth time in the last six seasons. The Eagles, who captured their first-ever Midwest Region title a year ago, have advanced to the NCAA II post-season eight times, including six under Head Coach Sue Kunkle.
• All-Region honors. Leonhardt and Schubert each earned All-Midwest Region honors this post-season. Schubert earned second-team accolades from the NFCA and Division II Conference Commissioner's Association; while Leonhardt was named second team by D2CCA
• All-GLVC honors. Senior third baseman Mena Fulton earned first-team All-GLVC honors, while Leonhardt and Schubert were named second-team All-GLVC last week. It is the first All-League honors for both Fulton and Schubert, while Leonhardt was first-team All-GLVC as well as the GLVC Freshman of the Year in 2017.
• Kunkle grabs 500th win. USI Head Coach Sue Kunkle became the first coach in USI history to earn 500 career wins when she recorded her 500th victory with USI's 4-0 GLVC Tournament win over Indianapolis. She is currently 506-361-1 (.584) all-time during her 17-year career at the helm of the Eagles.
• USI vs. UIS. It will be GLVC regular-season champion versus GLVC Tournament champion when USI and Illinois Springfield square off in the NCAA II Midwest Super Regional. The Eagles and Prairie Stars split their regular-season doubleheader in Evansville in March, with USI defeating UIS, 2-1, in the opener and UIS defeating the Eagles, 6-0, in the nightcap.
• Familiar settings. USI, Grand Valley State and Indianapolis found themselves together in the same NCAA II Midwest Region Tournament bracket for the third consecutive year. Grand Valley State prevailed in 2016; while USI won in 2017 and 2018.
• USI-Grand Valley meet in NCAA II Tournament for fourth straight year. USI's meeting with Grand Valley State in the NCAA II Midwest Region #1 Tournament marked the fourth straight year that the Eagles and Lakers have played in the NCAA II Tournament. USI earned wins in 2015, 2017 and 2018; while the Lakers were victorious in 2016 and 2018.
• Three title holders. USI was one of three conference champions to play in last week's NCAA II Midwest Region #1 Tournament. Grand Valley State won the GLIAC Tournament, while Hillsdale, won the GMAC Tournament.
• Historic senior class. USI's senior class—Clark-Kittleson, Fossett, Fulton and infielder Alex Logan—is the first senior class in program history to advance to the NCAA II Tournament four times and is the winningest senior class in program history, compiling a 154-69 overall record and a 77-35 mark in GLVC play. The 2018 senior class surpassed the 2001 senior class (152) for most wins at the NCAA II Midwest Region #1 Tournament.
• Clark-Kittleson goes deep. Clark-Kittleson hit her first collegiate home run in USI's 4-2 win over Missouri-St. Louis in the GLVC Tournament title game Saturday. It marked her first extra-base hit since April 2, 2016; a span that saw her record 98 singles.
• Leonhardt reaches 200-strikeout plateau. Leonhardt became the second pitcher in program history and the first since 1995 to reach the 200 strikeout plateau. She currently needs 11 strikeouts to match USI Hall of Famer Karianne Osowski's single-season record of 230.
• Fossett hits second-career grand slam. Fossett recorded her second-career grand slam in USI's 6-1 win over Missouri-St. Louis in the GLVC Tournament. She also hit a grand slam off of Missouri-St. Louis All-American Hannah Perryman as a sophomore in 2016.
• Leonhardt earns GLVC Pitcher of Week honors. Leonhardt claimed her fourth-career GLVC Pitcher of the Week award and first of the 2018 campaign following her efforts in USI's wins over Rockhurst and William Jewell earlier this season. She was 3-0 with a 1.02 ERA, 19 strikeouts and a .163 opponent batting average in 13 2/3 innings of work.
• Schubert joins elite club. Schubert is the seventh player in program history to hit 10 or more home runs in a single season and is five RBIs shy of becoming the fifth player in program history to record 50 RBIs in a single campaign. Her 11 home runs in 2018 are currently tied for fifth on USI's single-season list, while her 45 RBIs are tied for eighth.
• Hitting streaks. Clark-Kittleson currently leads the Eagles with a three-game hitting streak and is one of nine players this season to record a hitting streak of at least five games this year.
Johnson's 11-game hitting streak remains the longest streak of the year for the Eagles.
• Record book watch. Several USI players are in the USI career record books:
–Caitlyn Bradley is fifth all-time in hit-by-pitches (16) and tied for 17th in home runs (12);
–Marleah Fossett is second all-time in hit-by-pitches (30), third in putouts (1,043), tied for third in grand slams (2), tied for 12th in home runs (15) and 13th in RBIs (94);
–Mena Fulton is first all-time in hit-by-pitches (36) and tied for 21st in home runs (10);
–Claire Johnson is fourth in triples (11);
–Jennifer Leonhardt is fifth in strikeouts (410) and wins (48), tied for fifth in shutouts (16), and is seventh in complete game (47) and innings pitched (413.1);
–Allison Schubert is tied for 14th in home runs (13).