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April 18, 2006

Eagles host No. 5-ranked Cougars Wednesday

EVANSVILLE, Ind.—The University of Southern Indiana softball team hosts No. 5-ranked and GLVC front-runner Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Wednesday at the USI Softball Field at 2 p.m.

USI (27-14, 9-5 GLVC) ranks fourth in the GLVC and is seventh in the NCAA II Great Lakes Region rankings—the new rankings are due out Wednesday afternoon—and have won 13 of its previous 15 games.

After dropping both games in the season-series to the Cougars a year ago, the Screaming Eagles came back in the post season to eliminate them from the GLVC Tournament. It marked the second straight season that USI had knocked SIU Edwardsville out of the conference tournament.

If the Eagles, who are looking for their first NCAA II Tournament berth since 1998, are to be successful Wednesday, they will need outstanding pitching efforts from seniors Missy Grover (Mishawaka, Indiana) and Lindsey McNaughton (Carmel, Indiana).

Grover (15-6) has won seven of her last eight starts, and has posted a team-best 1.02 ERA during that span. McNaughton (12-8) has won six of her last seven starts and has struck out 50 batters, while recording just eight walks.

Offensively, the Eagles will look to senior catcher Angie Davis (Greenwood, Indiana), junior second baseman Audra Lindenschmidt (Evansville, Indiana), and sophomore third baseman Kristin Eickholt (Van Wert, Ohio) to produce Wednesday. All three ranks in the top five of the GLVC in run production this season and have combined for 89 runs batted in.

As a team, the Eagles entered the week ranked sixth in batting average and third in ERA. Sophomore leftfielder/pitcher Kathy Wood (Lynnville, Indiana) is the team's leader with a .395 batting average.

The Cougars (39-5, 13-1 GLVC), who rank first in the region, have won 11 straight games and 34 of its last 36 since opening the season with a 3-3 mark. They have gotten the job done from the plate as well as the pitching circle, where they rank second in the league in batting average and team ERA.

Following their doubleheader with SIU Edwardsville, the Eagles travel to Quincy, Illinois, and St. Louis, Missouri, for a pair of GLVC doubleheaders. USI takes on Quincy University Saturday at noon and the University of Missouri-St. Louis Sunday at noon.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information

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