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January 24, 2007

Eagles picked to finish second in GLVC

2007 Season Outlook
2007 Prospectus

EVANSVILLE, Ind.The University of Southern Indiana softball team has been picked to finish second in the GLVC in a vote by the league's head coaches. USI, which is coming off a 2006 season that saw it post a 39-18 record, compiled 126 points in the pole and garnered two first-place votes.

Defending GLVC champion Southern Illinois University Edwardsville was picked to finish first with 142 points and 10 first-place votes. Lewis University, Northern Kentucky University, and the University of Indianapolis rounded out the top five.

The Screaming Eagles finished 2006 in second place in the GLVC standings with a 17-5 mark. They advanced to the NCAA II Great Lakes Regional Tournament for the first time since 1998, where they finished third and earned a final national ranking of 22.

In 2007, the Eagles return seven position starters, including second-team All-GLVC and All-Region selections Kristin Eickholt (Van Wert, Ohio) and Kathy Wood (Lynnville, Indiana). Eickholt, a junior third baseman, hit .343 with 45 RBIs, four home runs, and a school-record 21 doubles.

Wood led the Eagles with a .392 batting average, 18 sacrifices, and 14 stolen bases. She was second on the team with 45 runs scored.

Head Coach Sue Kunkle, the 2006 GLVC Coach of the Year, also brought in eight newcomers, including junior pitchers Amy Harrison (Graceville, Florida) and Stephanie Schneider (Birdseye, Indiana). Harrison transferred from USI after spending her first two collegiate seasons at Florida State University where she was a member of the 2004 ACC and regional championship team that placed fifth at the NCAA I Women's College World Series.

Schneider had a stellar career at Parkland College where she posted a 30-5 overall record with a 0.88 ERA in two seasons. She was the 2006 NJCAA II Region XXIV Player of the Year after posting a 16-3 record with a 0.54 ERA to go with a .424 batting average, five home runs, and 29 RBIs.

The Eagles start the season February 16 at the University of West Georgia Invitational. They begin GLVC play with their home-opener March 24 against the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Team-Total Points (First-place votes)

1. SIU Edwardsville-142 (10)
2. Southern Indiana-126 (2)
3. Lewis-120 (1)
4. Northern Kentucky-113
5. Indianapolis-103
6. UW-Parkside-86
7. Missouri-Rolla-84
8. Saint Joseph's-58
9. Bellarmine-46
10. Kentucky Wesleyan-44
11. Quincy-42
12. Missouri-St. Louis-35
13. Rockhurst-15

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information

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