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May 06, 2005

Eagles avoid elimination to advance to final four

Lewis 4, USI 0
USI 8, Quincy 0 (6 innings)
USI 2, #15 SIU Edwardsville 1

EAST PEORIA, Ill.óThe University of Southern Indiana softball team staved off elimination twice Friday to advance to the final four of the GLVC Tournament at the EastSide Centre.

USI (29-19) got off to a bad start, falling to Lewis University in the opening round, 4-0. The Screaming Eagles bounced back, however, defeating Quincy University, 8-0 in six innings, and No. 15-ranked Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, 2-1, in the final game of the day.

Junior first baseman Angie Davis (Greenwood, Indiana) hit a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the sixth inning to defeat Quincy. She finished the game going 2-for-3 from the plate with a career-high five runs batted in. It was the first walk-off home run for the Eagles this season.

Senior centerfielder Sunny Oelling (Valparaiso, Indiana) recorded a pair of RBIs and junior pitcher Lindsey McNaughton (Carmel, Indiana) was 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs and two runs scored. McNaughton (12-7) picked up the win, going six innings and allowing just four hits and a pair of walks while striking out five batters.

Junior pitcher Missy Grover (Mishawaka, Indiana) turned out her best pitching performance of the season against SIUE, allowing just one run off six hits in seven innings of work. Grover (15-10), who was charged with the loss against Lewis, allowed just one walk while recording one strikeout.

Sophomore Kristy Groves (Dale, Indiana) drove in the winning run on an infield single in the top of the sixth inning. Davis drove in the first run of the game in the second inning before the Cougars answered in the bottom of the inning.

USIís win over the Cougars marked the second consecutive season that the Eagles have eliminated SIUE from the conference tournament. It is the third time in four seasons that the Eagles have advanced to the final four of the GLVC Tournament.

The Eagles will play Lewis (29-21) in the elimination bracket Saturday at 1 p.m. No. 1-ranked Northern Kentucky University, who broke the NCAA all-division record with its 48th straight victory, will play the University of Wisconsin-Parkside (31-21) in the winners bracket at 3 p.m..

If the Eagles defeat Lewis, they will play the loser of UWP and NKU at 5 p.m. Saturday. The championship is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday, with a second game scheduled for 3 p.m. if needed.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information

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