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USI softball clinches berth to College World Series

USI softball clinches berth to College World Series
Published: May. 20, 2022 at 2:35 PM CDT|Updated: May. 20, 2022 at 10:12 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The University of Southern Indiana softball team is heading to the NCAA Division II Softball Championship.

USI (49-11) punched its tickets by defeating Grand Valley State in a 3-2 victory on Friday to win the Midwest Super Regional.

The Eagles entered Friday’s matchup with one win already under their belt against the Lakers, taking game one of the best-of-three series on Thursday.

In game two, Grand Valley State built a 2-0 lead heading into the final inning, but USI rallied to advance to the program’s third championship appearance in the last five seasons.

“We’ve done that all season,” USI freshman outfielder Kennedy Nalley said. “We’ve always found a way to come back and win it. And I knew if they gave us a slight chance to come back, we were gonna do it. I never lost faith in this team. We have grit.”

“All of us have confidence in each other, and we kind of knew going in that we could do it,” USI senior pitcher/first base Katie Back said. “I like to keep things very simple when I go up to bat, so literally the only thing going through my head was hit the ball. There’s not another team I would rather do this with.”

USI head coach Sue Kunkle told 14 Sports what she said to her team in the dugout before that final inning stretch.

“I just told them we have to fight, we have to get gritty, let’s show them why we’re here and what we have done this season,” Kunkle said. “This is the moment right here, this is what we’ve worked for all season, so we’re very blessed. There’s going to be a lot of great teams obviously there. Just the opportunity to travel across the country with these kids is going to be awesome.”

The Division II Softball Championship begins Thursday in Denver, Colorado.

USI softball clinches berth to College World Series
USI softball clinches berth to College World Series(WFIE)

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