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February 12, 2008

Eagles open 2008 campaign Friday

EVANSVILLE, Ind.The University of Southern Indiana softball team opens its 2008 season Friday at the Gulf South/Midwest Crossover in Tunica, Mississippi. The Screaming Eagles are slated to play six games during the three-day crossover, including one with No. 14 University of Alabama-Huntsville Saturday.

USI, which returns seven position starters and its entire pitching staff from a team that won 30 games for the third straight season and the ninth time in the last 11 years, opens this weekend's action against Arkansas Tech University Friday at 10 a.m. The Eagles also play Southern Arkansas University Friday at 2 p.m.

In addition to its game against Alabama-Huntsville Saturday at noon, USI also squares off against the University of Arkansas-Monticello Saturday at 4 p.m. The Eagles take on Henderson State University Sunday at noon before concluding their opening-weekend against host Delta State University Sunday at 2 p.m.

The Eagles, who were picked to finish fourth in the GLVC Preseason Coaches' Poll, return five All-GLVC players from last season, including first-team All-GLVC third baseman Kristin Eickholt (Van Wert, Ohio). Eickholt, who is seven doubles shy of becoming the school's all-time leader in that category, needs just one RBI to become the fourth player in school history to reach 100 career RBIs.

In addition to Eickholt's presence, senior outfielder/pitcher Kathy Wood (Lynnville, Indiana) and senior pitcher Amy Harrison (Graceville, Florida) were second-team All-GLVC selections in 2007 as was junior outfielder Lacey Ligmanowski (Homer Glen, Illinois). Junior shortstop Allyn McKinley (Sullivan, Indiana) was an honorable mention All-GLVC performer in 2007 after hitting .326 with a team-high 18 doubles, seven home runs, and 45 RBIs.

Dan McDonnell,
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