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May 04, 2002

Eagles ride Garnett’s arm into GLVC Championship,
USI softball places four on All-GLVC squad

Senior hurler Danielle Garnett (Griffith, Indiana) pitched a pair of complete game shutouts this afternoon at the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament in Romeoville, Illinois to lead the University of Southern Indiana softball team into the GLVC Championship tomorrow against Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. The Screaming Eagles defeated Bellarmine University, 2-0, to start the day and completed the day with a thrilling 1-0 victory over host Lewis University.

Garnett recorded 12 strikeouts and allowed just two hits against Bellarmine before striking out four batters and stranding eight runners on base against Lewis.

With no score in the bottom of the fifth inning, Lewis got runners on first and second base with no outs. Garnett fanned the next two batters and got Lewis’s leadoff hitter, Gina Blackwell, to line out to centerfield.

After junior centerfielder/pitcher Rachel Bowling (Middletown, Indiana) led the top of the seventh inning off with a solo home run, the fourth by Bowling this weekend, Garnett found herself and the Eagles three outs away from advancing to the championship game.

However, Lewis would not go down with out a fight as Amy Roberts led the bottom of the seventh inning off with a single to right field. Roberts advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt before one of Garnett’s pitches grazed Lewis’s catcher, Jen DiGiacomo, on the arm to put runners at first and second with one out.

USI’s Ginnie Roberts (Lafayette, Indiana) made a difficult running catch in the leftfield foul territory to record the second out of the inning.

Lewis had a golden opportunity taken away from it when Gina Blackwell singled to centerfield. With the Flyer’s Amy Roberts rounding third base, USI’s Bowling scooped the ball up and made a solid throw to catcher Kristen Houseworth (Martinsville, Indiana) to hold Roberts at third base and keep the Flyers off the board.

The play would be big for the Eagles as Garnett got Lewis’s next batter, Katie Schaefer, to fly out to left field. The out was the third of the inning and it left the bases loaded, giving USI the 1-0 victory.

Said Garnett of the final batter she faced: “I knew that this pitch could be the last of college career. That is the way I have looked at it each game this weekend.”

Garnett has been solid for the Eagles thus far in the GLVC Tournament. She has pitched every game for the Eagles, posting a 4-1 record and a 1.03 ERA. She has struck out 34 batters during the five-game stretch and allowed just three. Garnett also entered the top five all-time at USI in career strikeouts (288).

The Eagles used a home run by Bowling in their 2-0 win over Bellarmine. Bowling, who now has a school-record 15 home runs this season, recorded the solo shot with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead.

USI added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth inning when Houseworth singled to center field, driving in second baseman Brooke Biggs (Osceola, Indiana).

USI, which improves to 30-17 on the season, will face SIU Edwardsville Sunday at noon. The Eagles will need to win two games, while the Cougars of SIUE will need to win just one game, in order to capture their first GLVC Championship since 1998.

IF the Eagles are successful, they will advance to the NCAA Division II Tournament next weekend. USI also extended its streak of 30-win seasons to six.

Below is a listing of GLVC Tournament Results and upcoming schedule:

Game 1: #4 USI 4, #5 Bellarmine 2
Game 2: #3 Lewis 1, #6 Saint Joseph’s 0
Game 3: #1 SIU Edwardsville 2, #8 Wisconsin-Parkside 1
Game 4: #7 Missouri-St. Louis 1, #2 Northern Kentucky 0
Game 5: Saint Joseph’s 2, Wisconsin-Parkside 1 (10-innings), UWP eliminated
Game 6: Bellarmine 5, Northern Kentucky 0, NKU eliminated
Game 7: SIU Edwardsville 2, USI 1
Game 8: Lewis 1, Missouri-St. Louis 0
Game 9: USI 2, Saint Joseph’s 0, SJC e

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