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April 13, 2005

USI softball to host No. 14 SIUE

EVANSVILLE, Ind.óThe University of Southern Indiana softball team will square off with No. 14-ranked Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in a GLVC showdown Thursday at the USI Softball Field. The doubleheader, which will carry regional ranking implications as well as position in the league standings, is set to begin at 3 p.m.

USI (21-10, 4-2 GLVC) has won 21 of its last 23 games and is looking to upend a hot Cougar squad that has won 10 straight games and sports a 28-8 overall record as well as a 6-0 mark in league play.

The Screaming Eagles split the regular season-series with the Cougars in 2004 before knocking them out of the GLVC Tournament. SIUE leads the all-time series since 1990, posting a 33-18-1 against the Eagles.

Thursdayís doubleheader will pit USIís solid pitching staff against SIUEís explosive offense. The Eagles rank fourth in the GLVC with a 1.88 team earned run average, while the Cougars rank second in the league with a .321 team batting average.

Leading USIís pitching staff is juniors Missy Grover (Mishawaka, Indiana) and Lindsey McNaughton (Carmel, Indiana). Grover (11-5) leads the Eagles with a 1.67 ERA and is fifth in the GLVC in opposing batting average (.206). McNaughton (8-4) has earned eight straight decisions.

Offensively, the Eagles are led by senior centerfielder Sunny Oelling (Valparaiso, Indiana) and senior rightfielder Nickole Henson (Princeton, Indiana). Oelling is hitting .376 with 12 RBIs and 19 runs scored, while Henson is hitting .318 with eight RBIs and 15 runs scored. Henson is hitting .377 in USIís last 23 games.

Junior pitcher/infielder Alicia DeShaiser leads the Cougars both offensively and defensively. DeShaiser is third in the GLVC in batting average (.434) and leads the league in runs scored (39) and runs batted in (34). She also leads the Cougarsí pitching staff with 11 victories.

USI will continue its 10-game homestand Saturday and Sunday when it hosts the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Quincy University. Both doubleheaders are slated to start at Noon.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information

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