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April 12, 2006

Eagles ranked seventh in regional poll

EVANSVILLE, Ind.The University of Southern Indiana softball team is seventh in the latest NCAA II Great Lakes Regional poll.

This season's NCAA II Tournament has expanded from 48 to 64 teams, meaning that each of the eight regions will have eight teams qualify for the tournament as opposed to the six in previous seasons.

The Great Lakes Region consists of the GLVC, the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, and the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Each of the three conferences receives an automatic bid from its respective conference tournaments.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is ranked first, while Gannon University and Lewis University are ranked second and third, respectively. Northern Kentucky University and Northwood University rounded out the top five, while the University of Indianapolis was sixth.

The WVIAC's Alderson Broaddus College and West Virginia State University were ranked eighth and ninth, respectively, while Wayne State University rounded out the top 10.

USI (24-13, 6-4 GLVC), which hosts the University of Wisconsin-Parkside (19-16, 8-4 GLVC) Friday at Noon before welcoming Lewis (24-6, 10-2 GLVC) Saturday at 11 a.m., has won 10 of its last 11 games and is 24-8 since starting the season with five straight losses.

The Screaming Eagles, who are fourth in the GLVC standings, are hitting a combined .300 at the plate this season and .333 in the last 11 games. The Eagles entered this week's action ranked second in the GLVC in total hits third in doubles, runs scored, and RBIs and fifth in batting average, slugging percentage, and home runs.

For the season, USI has five players batting better than .330, with sophomore leftfielder Kathy Wood (Lynnville, Indiana) leading the way with a .406 batting average. Junior second baseman Audra Lindenschmidt (Evansville, Indiana), sophomore third baseman Kristin Eickholt (Van Wert, Ohio), and senior catcher Angie Davis (Greenwood, Indiana) are among the league leaders in RBIs, while Eickholt leads the GLVC with 13 doubles.

The Eagles also have lowered their team ERA to 1.95, which currently ranks fourth in the GLVC. USI is sporting a 1.02 ERA in the last 11 games.

Senior Missy Grover (Mishawaka, Indiana) leads the Eagles with 13 wins after throwing a one-hit shutout against Oakland City University Tuesday, while fellow classmate Lindsey McNaughton (Carmel, Indiana) leads USI with a 1.82 ERA and 79 strikeouts.

Following this weekend's action, USI hosts SIU Edwardsville April 19 at 2 p.m.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information

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