USI Softball earns first-ever Ohio Valley Conference victory
MOREHEAD, KY. (WFIE) - University of Southern Indiana Softball opened the Ohio Valley Conference season with a doubleheader split against Morehead State University on Saturday, winning the first game for the program’s first-ever OVC win, 6-4, before coming up a run short in the second game, 6-5.
Southern Indiana made its OVC debut Saturday as part of the program’s first season at the NCAA Division I level. The Screaming Eagles entered the OVC slate with a 6-10 record, while Morehead State entered OVC play at 4-6.
The first game began with each team scoring a run in the first inning. As manufacturing runs seemed to be the theme in the early innings, USI grabbed a 2-1 lead in the top of the second inning with a bases-loaded walk. Morehead State answered with a run on a sacrifice in the third to even the game, 2-2.
Following a scoreless fourth inning, Southern Indiana jumped back in front, 3-2, in the top of the fifth inning on the first home run of the season for senior Allie Goodin (Evansville, Indiana). Goodin sent a pitch over left field for a solo shot. USI doubled its advantage to 4-2 in the sixth inning when senior outfielder Emma Tucher (New Palestine, Indiana) doubled to score sophomore outfielder Kennedy Nalley (Huntingburg, Indiana).
Offensively, Goodin and Tucher posted two RBIs each in the first game, while Nalley recorded a two-hit game.
USI tallied two more runs in the top of the seventh inning to lead 6-2. In the bottom of the seventh, Morehead State did not go down quietly, as they tried to mount a rally. Morehead State scored a run after getting to the first two batters of the inning to reach base. Morehead State would later score another run, making the score 6-4 USI, but the threat ended there as USI sophomore pitcher Josie Newman (Indianapolis, Indiana) finished the game for her fifth complete game of the season.
In the winning effort, Newman improved to 6-4 on the season. The right-hander struck out nine, allowing four runs – two earned – off nine hits and one walk in the full seven innings.
For Morehead State, sophomore pitcher Madi Ogden dropped to 2-5 this season. Ogden went six innings, giving up six runs – three earned – on eight hits and four walks with four strikeouts.
In the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader, Southern Indiana got off to a quick start in the top of the first inning, scoring two runs. Goodin accounted for another RBI on the day with a double that scored senior infielder Jordan Rager (Fishers, Indiana). Goodin later scored on an RBI hit from junior first baseman Lexi Fair (Greenwood, Indiana). USI added another two runs in the second inning to take a 4-0 lead, including one run off an RBI single from Rager.
In the bottom of the third inning, Morehead State tied the game, 4-4, on a grand slam by freshman catcher Emily Williams. USI answered the grand slam with a run in the top of the fourth, as Rager delivered with another RBI single to put USI back in front, 5-4.
Rager led USI with three hits and two RBIs in the game. Fair and Tucher also registered multi-hit games for USI at the plate.
Morehead State went on to score a run in the fifth and sixth innings to take a 6-5 lead before closing out the game.
In the circle, USI sophomore pitcher Hailey Gotshall (Lucerne, Indiana) took a no-decision, pitching the first three innings, giving up four runs, and striking out three. Freshman pitcher Kylie Eads (Indianapolis, Indiana) was charged her first loss of the season after pitching the last three innings. Eads allowed two runs – one earned – and struck out two.
Morehead State’s freshman pitcher Jessie Begley was credited with her second win of the season, tossing a complete game, and surrendering five runs – three earned – off 10 hits and three walks.
Saturday’s results tied USI and Morehead State in the middle of the standings of the young OVC season at 1-1. Overall, USI exited Saturday with a 7-11 mark and Morehead State with a 5-7 record.
The series finale is Sunday at 11 a.m. CT and can be seen with an ESPN+ subscription. Additional coverage links can be found on the USI Softball schedule page on usiscreamingeagles.com
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