CLERMONT, Florida (WFIE) -Senior catcher Lindsey Barr (Whitesville, Kentucky) hit a home run in the fourth inning and it proved to be the difference as University of Southern Indiana Softball defeated No. 12 Saint Anselm College, 2-1, to forge a split on the fourth day of The Spring Games. The Screaming Eagles began the day with a 7-4 setback to Minnesota State University Mankato.
Senior second baseman Claire Johnson (Pittsboro, Indiana) paced the Eagles at the plate as she went a combined 3-of-5 with a pair of walks, a run scored, a double, triple and three RBIs. Johnson tied and broke USI’s all-time walks record in the Eagles’ win over Saint Anselm as she passed Assistant Coach MacKenzi Dorsam for first with her 83rd career walk.
USI (9-9) returns to action Friday at 3 p.m. (CST) to take on The University of Findlay in a Midwest Region bout. The Eagles also play Notre Dame College (Ohio) Friday at 5:15 p.m. in a game that will have regional implications.
MSU Mankato (11-5) 7, USI 4
The Mavericks, who captured the 2017 national championship, used a three-run home run in the bottom of the third inning to take a 3-0 lead over the Eagles, but a two-run triple by Johnson in the top of the fifth got the Eagles to within a run.
MSU Mankato, however, reeled off seven straight hits in the sixth inning to score four runs and steal momentum away from the Eagles.
Trailing 7-2 heading into the seventh, USI made one last charge as an RBI-double by Johnson followed by an RBI-bunt single by junior pitcher/third baseman Jennifer Leonhardt (Louisville, Kentucky) brought the Eagles to within striking distance.
USI had the bases loaded later in the frame when junior shortstop Taylor Ricketts (Georgetown, Kentucky) roped a ball down the right field line that went off the first baseman’s glove. The hit likely would have scored at least two, if not three runs, but umpires ruled it a foul ball. Ricketts later was punched out on a called third strike as the Eagles’ comeback bid came to a screeching halt.
Senior outfielder/pitcher Caitlyn Bradley (Pittsboro, Indiana) was charged with the loss after giving up five runs off nine hits in five-and-two-third innings of work. Bradley (2-3) finished with five strikeouts and just one walk.
USI 2, #12 Saint Anselm (10-4) 1
In a rematch of last year’s NCAA II National Championship Series, it was USI that struck first with a run in the top of the first inning. The Eagles took advantage of a leadoff walk to Johnson as junior outfielder Allison Schubert (Nicholasville, Kentucky) hit a sacrifice fly to push across the first run of the game.
Barr’s home run in the fourth put USI up 2-0, while a Saint Anselm tally in the last half of the fifth cut the Eagles’ cushion in half.
The Hawks had runners at second and third with one out in the sixth, but a foul out and a strikeout got the Eagles out of the inning unscathed.
Leonhardt (6-3) earned the complete-game win in the circle after giving up one run off 10 hits. She struck out six batters and did not allow a walk.
Courtesy: USI Athletics