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April 12, 2003

Late inning heroics forge split for Eagles

Wayne State 2, USI 1
USI 5, Saginaw Valley State 4 (9 innings)

The University of Southern Indiana softball team scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh inning and another in the bottom of the ninth to forge a split for the first day of the GLVC/GLIAC Challenge. The Screaming Eagles defeated Saginaw Valley State University, 5-4, after falling to #15 Wayne State University, 2-1, in their first game.

USI (12-15) received a big day from sophomore rightfielder Sunny Oelling (Valparaiso, Indiana). Oelling went 3-for-4 with a run scored against WSU and ended the day with a 4-for-5 performance with a run scored and an RBI against SVSU. She raised her batting average from .337 to .380 on the afternoon.

In their win over SVSU, the Eagles faced a one out, runners on the corner, situation in the top of the ninth inning. The Eagles used an impressive pickoff play to catch SVSU pinch runner Jamie Allen trying to steal home.

USI junior catcher Kristen Houseworth (Martinsville, Indiana) started the play by throwing down to second in an attempt to get a stealing SVSU centerfielder Leya Taylor out. Senior shortstop Jenny Duell (Lafayette, Indiana) cut the throw off and got Taylor in a pickle with USI junior first baseman Monica Tepe (Granger, Indiana).

After Duell tossed the ball to Tepe to prevent Taylor from going back to first, Tepe threw the ball back to Houseworth to stop Allen from reaching home. Houseworth ran Allen back to third, but before the SVSU pinch runner could get back, Houseworth tossed the ball to USI junior third baseman Nichole Pike (Fairfield, Illinois).

Pike tagged the diving Allen to get the second out of the inning and then quickly turned to her left to tag a diving Taylor who had rounded second and tried for third. The double play got USI hurler Shannon Emmons (Boonville, Indiana) out of the inning and gave the Eagles a boost of momentum.

After having Duell placed on second due to the international tiebreaker rule, the Eagles tapped out two consecutive singles to score Duell and give USI its first victory in six contests.

Emmons (7-11), who was charged with the loss in USI’s first game, came on in relief against SVSU to pick up the victory. For the day, Emmons gave up just two runs, one earned, in 10 innings of work.

In its loss to WSU, USI scored its lone run of the game in the top of the fifth inning. Oelling, who reached on a bouncing single through the left side, turned a standard sacrifice bunt in to two bases with some heads-up base running.

Junior second baseman Brooke Biggs (Osceola, Indiana) laid down a bunt to advance Oelling to second. Oelling took advantage of her speed and advanced to third on Biggs’ bunt, which sent the WSU shortstop, Sue Verbeem, to cover second base, and brought the WSU third baseman, Jordan Sinclair, in to make a play on the ball. Oelling scored on a sacrifice fly by Houseworth on the next at bat.

USI will finish the GLIAC/GLVC Showdown Sunday when it takes on the University of Findlay (8 a.m.), Lake Superior State (10 a.m.), and Northwood University (2 p.m.). All times are central daylight time.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information

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