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November 14, 2002

USI softball announces first signing

The University of Southern Indiana softball team announced Thursday that pitcher/utility player Nikki Nichols (Henderson, Kentucky) has signed a letter of intent for the 2004 season. Nichols is the first player to sign with Head Coach Sue Kunkle’s Screaming Eagles this fall.

Nichols is a senior at Henderson County High School in Henderson, Kentucky where she has earned All-Region and All-State honors as a sophomore and a junior. She also is a three-time All-District performer as well as a member of the Junior East/West All-Stars in 2002.

A Wendy’s High School Heisman Award nominee in 2002, Nichols was HCHS’s Offensive Player of the Year in 2001 and 2002. She has helped lead HCHS to District championships in 1999, 2000, and 2001 as well as the Region finals in 2001 and 2002.

During summer ball, Nichols helped the Indiana Excel to a fourth-place finish at the ASA 18-and-under Indiana State Tournament in 2002. That team tied for 25th at the ASA 18-and-under ‘A’ Nationals.

A solid performer on and off the field, Nichols earned first-team Academic All-State honors in 2000, 2001, and 2002. She earned the Citizenship Award in 2001 and 2002 and has been a member of the National Honor Society the last four years.

Nichols holds the school records for most singles, wins, strikeouts, shutouts, and lowest earned run average in a season. She also holds the single-game record for strikeouts and the career-records for shutouts and strikeouts at HCHS.

“Nikki is the type of student athlete that we look for to be a part of our program,” Kunkle said. “She will be an outstanding addition to our team and will help the continued success at USI in many ways.

“Nikki is a talented pitcher with endless potential,” Kunkle continued. “She also will add to the depth of our outfield.”

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information

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