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March 23, 2008

Eagles open home slate Monday,
Kunkle looking for 200th career victory

EVANSVILLE, Ind.The University of Southern Indiana softball team opens its 2008 home schedule Monday at noon when it hosts first-year program Drury University in a GLVC doubleheader at the USI Softball Field.

USI (12-12, 1-1 GLVC) has played in five different states, but just two its 24 contests have been in the state of Indiana. The Screaming Eagles also are coming off a nine-day lay-off after splitting their conference-opening doubleheader at the University of Indianapolis on March 15.

In addition to their doubleheader with Drury, the Eagles host Brescia University in a non-conference doubleheader Tuesday at 5 p.m. They also visit Quincy University Saturday and No. 13 Southern Illinois University Edwardsville next Sunday in a pair of conference twin bills.

As the Eagles enter this week's contests, USI Head Coach Sue Kunkle is looking for her 200th career victory. Kunkle currently has 196 wins in her six-plus seasons at the helm of USI's softball program. She needs just 11 more wins to surpass former USI Head Coach Beth Watson as the program's all-time leader.

Sophomore designated player Sara Loete (Pekin, Illinois) leads the Eagles with a .429 batting average and 24 RBIs. She is tied with senior third baseman/pitcher Kristin Eickholt (Van Wert, Ohio) for the team lead with six doubles, and is tied with freshman first baseman Brittany DeWeese (Evansville, Indiana) for the team lead with five home runs.

Eickholt, who is hitting .349 this season, is looking to become USI's all-time career leader in doubles after tying the mark (44) last Saturday against Indianapolis. DeWeese has been solid at the plate this season, hitting .311 with two doubles, four triples, five home runs, and 19 RBIs.

Drury (9-18, 0-4 GLVC), which visits Kentucky Wesleyan College for a doubleheader today, is under the direction of former USI Assistant Coach Annie Medico. The Drury Panthers struggled to start the season, but have won five of their last six games entering today's match-up with Kentucky Wesleyan.

Brescia (0-6) also is coming off a long lay-off, having lost its last eight games to rain since last playing on March 11. The Eagles lead the series with the Bearcats, 15-3, since 1989 after sweeping a doubleheader in 2006.

Dan McDonnell,
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