USI softball delivers two-run fifth inning to secure opener in NCAA Super Regional
Screaming Eagles need one more win to advance to Division II Softball Championship
EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - University of Southern Indiana Softball rode a two-run fifth inning to defeat No. 21 Grand Valley State University, 2-1, in the opening game of the best-of-three NCAA Division II Midwest Super Regional Thursday at the USI Softball Field.
The No. 10 Screaming Eagles (48-11), who left the bases loaded in the first and second innings, capitalized on a hit batter and one-out walk when senior designated player Katie Back (Indianapolis Indiana) hit two-out single to leftfield push across the first run of the game.
Junior shortstop Jordan Rager (Fishers, Indiana) followed in the next at-bat with another RBI-single to leftfield as the Eagles built a 2-0 lead.
Grand Valley State (43-7) responded in the sixth inning as a pair of singles wrapped around an error put Lakers on all three bases with no outs. Senior second baseman Taylor Rieger followed with a sacrifice fly that scored the first run and moved two more into scoring position on the throw home.
After a close play at second base went in favor of the Lakers, the skies opened up and both teams were forced to sit through a near-two hour rain/lightning delay.
Following the break, USI Head Coach Sue Kunkle replaced junior pitcher Allie Goodin (Evansville, Indiana) with freshman hurler Josie Newman (Indianapolis, Indiana), who struck out two straight batters to get the Eagles out of the jam and into the seventh with a 2-1 lead.
Newman, who picked up her GLVC-leading fourth save of the year, retired the Lakers in order in the seventh to preserve the victory.
Goodin (16-3) picked up a win after taking a no-hitter into the fifth inning. She gave up an unearned run off three hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings of work.
USI and Grand Valley State conclude the NCAA II Midwest Super Regional Friday, with game two scheduled for noon and an “if necessary” game three scheduled for 2:30 p.m.
The Eagles need just one more win to advance to the NCAA II Softball Championship for the third time in program history and the first since winning the national championship in 2018. The Lakers need to win twice to capture their third straight regional title and fourth since 2016.
- With their win today, the Eagles matched the 1998 USI Softball team with the most wins in program history (48).
- Goodin now has a 5-1 record with a 0.60 ERA and .197 opponent batting average in the 2022 post-season, while Newman is now 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA and two saves.
Courtesy: USI Athletics
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