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January 30, 2006

Coaches tab USI softball team to finish fourth in GLVC

2006 Season Outlook

EVANSVILLE, Ind.In a vote by the league's coaches, the University of Southern Indiana softball team was picked to finish fourth in the GLVC in 2006.

The Screaming Eagles received one first-place vote and 106 points to edge the University of Wisconsin-Parkside for the fourth spot in the poll. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville was the coaches' favorite to win the GLVC, while defending GLVC champion Northern Kentucky University was second in the poll. Lewis University was third in the GLVC Preseason Coaches Poll.

USI returns six position starters and its entire pitching staff from a squad that was 30-20 overall and 10-8 in the GLVC in 2005. The Eagles also set a school-record last spring by winning 18 consecutive games.

Under the direction of Head Coach Sue Kunkle, the Eagles finished third in the GLVC Tournament for the second consecutive year. Kunkle, who is in her fifth season, enters the 2006 campaign with 114 career victories and needs just four to move into second all-time at USI.

The Eagles start the season February 17 when they travel to Conway, Arkansas, to compete in the 10th Annual UCA Spring Clash. USI starts GLVC competition March 18 when it plays at the University of Indianapolis.

USI welcomes league newcomers, Rockhurst University and the University of Missouri-Rolla, to the USI Softball Field when the Eagles open their home schedule March 25 and 26.

USI's run for a conference title and a berth in the NCAA II Great Lakes Regional Tournament will have to go through East Peoria, Illinois, which hosts the GLVC Tournament May 5-7 for the third straight at the EastSide Centre Sports Complex.

The NCAA II Great Lakes Tournament is May 11-14 at a site to be determined, while the NCAA II World Series is May 18-22 in Salem, Virginia.

2006 GLVC Preseason Coaches' Poll
School (first-place votes)...........Pts
1. SIU Edwardsville (7).................139
2. Northern Kentucky (4)................127
3. Lewis................................118
4. Southern Indiana (1).................106
5. UW-Parkside..........................104
6. Indianapolis......................... 91
7. Missouri-Rolla....................... 64
8. Saint Joseph's....................... 60
9. Missouri-St. Louis................... 59
10. Quincy............................... 51
11. Bellarmine........................... 46
12. Rockhurst............................ 30
13. Kentucky Wesleyan.................... 19


Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information


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