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April 24, 2002

USI softball versus Bellarmine cancelled,
Eagles preparing for crucial weekend

The University of Southern Indiana softball game against Bellarmine University has been cancelled due to weather conditions. The Screaming Eagles were scheduled to play Bellarmine in a non-conference doubleheader in Louisville, Kentucky this afternoon.

USI will now focus its attention toward the final weekend of the regular season. The Eagles are scheduled to play doubleheaders against the University of Indianapolis (Saturday, April 27 at 1 p.m.) and Northern Kentucky University (Sunday, April 28 at 11 a.m.).

After dropping a pair of games at the GLVC/GLIAC Showdown in South Bend, Indiana last weekend, the Eagles enter this weekend’s action with a 26-14 overall record and are on the bubble for the NCAA Division II Tournament, which has been expanded to a 48-team bracket (6 teams in each region). In previous seasons, the tournament has only taken four teams from each region.

USI was ranked fourth in the last Great Lakes Regional rankings. However, those rankings came out before the GLVC/GLIAC Showdown.

A good showing this weekend would help the Eagles, not only in the regional rankings, but also in the GLVC standings. USI is fourth in the GLVC with a 10-5 record and is three games behind NKU, which lies in second place and plays SIU Edwardsville this Saturday.

The Eagles will need to sweep and get help to move up from fourth, but a slip could knock the Eagles as far back as sixth in the conference standings and force them to play either Lewis University or Northern Kentucky their opening game of the GLVC Tournament next weekend.

If USI is to be successful this weekend, look for sophomore first baseman Monica Tepe (Granger, Indiana) and junior outfielder Ginnie Roberts (Lafayette, Indiana) to lead the Eagles offensively. Both have posted impressive numbers against GLVC competition this season, with Tepe hitting .360 and Roberts hitting .324.

Junior centerfielder/pitcher Rachel Bowling (Middletown, Indiana) is providing the pop for USI’s offense. Bowling leads the team with a .383 batting average, a conference-best 11 home runs, and 32 RBI. She needs just two RBI to become the school’s all-time leader in runs batted in.

Defensively, the Eagles will need senior pitcher Danielle Garnett (Griffith, Indiana) and freshman hurler Brandy Bates (Boonville, Indiana) to keep Indianapolis and NKU off the scoreboard. Garnett leads the team with a 1.68 ERA, 16 wins, 7 shutouts, and 129 strikeouts.

Since getting shelled in her first appearance of the season, Bates has come on strong for the Eagles. Bates is second on the squad with a 1.71 ERA and has posted a 4-1 record with just two walks in 32 2/3 innings pitched. Since giving up two runs off four hits in her first outing, Bates has recorded an impressive 1.22 ERA while giving up just one walk.

Next weekend (Friday, April 3 – Sunday, April 5), the Eagles will travel to Romeoville, Illinois to compete in the GLVC Tournament. The winner of the tournament gets an automatic bid into the NCAA II Tournament.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information

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