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February 13, 2007

#23 Eagles open 2007 season Friday

EVANSVILLE, Ind.The No. 23-ranked University of Southern Indiana softball team opens the 2007 campaign this weekend at the University of West Georgia Invitational in Carrollton, Georgia.

USI starts the weekend Friday with games against the University of West Alabama (8 a.m. CST), Delta State University (10 a.m.), and the University of North Alabama (4 p.m.). The Screaming Eagles finish the weekend Saturday with West Georgia (1 p.m.) and No. 15-ranked Columbus State University (3 p.m.)

The Eagles finished the 2006 season ranked 22nd after posting a third-place finish at the NCAA II Great Lakes Regional Tournament. The Screaming Eagles, who are picked to finish second in the GLVC this season, finished the 2006 campaign with a 39-18 overall record and a 17-5 mark in the GLVC.

USI returns seven position starters in 2007, 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, who may miss some time due to an injury, 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.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information

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