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February 15, 2008

Eagles drop two on opening day,
Loete homers three times

Arkansas Tech: 6, Southern Indiana: 3
Box Score

Southern Arkansas: 4, Southern Indiana: 3
Box Score

Sara Loete

TUNICA, Miss.Despite a three home run outburst by sophomore designated player Sara Loete (Pekin, Indiana), the University of Southern Indiana softball team dropped games to Arkansas Tech University, 6-3, and Southern Arkansas University, 4-3, to open the 2008 season Friday.

Kristin Eickholt

Loete hit home runs in the second and fourth innings to help the Screaming Eagles (0-2) build a 3-2 lead over Arkansas Tech in the first game. Senior third baseman/pitcher Kristin Eickholt (Van Wert, Ohio) also went deep in the fourth inning to help USI jump out to the one-run lead.

With the home run, Eickholt becomes the fourth player in the program's history to record 100 career RBIs.

Arkansas Tech, however, scored four unanswered runs, including three in the top of the seventh inning, to pull out the 6-3 victory.

Senior pitcher Amy Harrison (Graceville, Florida) was charged with the loss after giving up six runs, five earned, off 10 hits in seven innings of work. Harrison (0-1) gave up four of the hits in the seventh inning alone.

Against Southern Arkansas, the Eagles used another home run by Loete in the top of the second inning to tie the contest at 2-2. Senior centerfielder Kirsten Morgan (Oakland City, Indiana), who was a combined 4-for-5 at the plate on the day, hit an RBI single four batters later to give USI a 3-2 lead.

Southern Arkansas knotted the game up at 3-3 in the third inning and used a solo home run, the second of the game given up by Eickholt, to take a 4-3 advantage in the fifth inning. Eickholt (0-1) was charged with the setback after giving up four runs off five hits on a little more than five innings of work.

USI had runners at second and third in the top of the sixth inning and at first and second in the seventh inning, but could not push across the tying run as Southern Arkansas came out with the win. As a team, USI stranded 10 runners on base in its second game, including eight in the final five innings.

The Eagles return to action Saturday when they take on No. 14 University of Alabama-Huntsville at noon and the University of Arkansas-Monticello at 4 p.m.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information

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