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February 21, 2009

Late rallies comes up short as Eagles slip to 0-10

Delta State (9-2): 8, Southern Indiana (0-10): 6
Box Score

North Alabama (4-3): 4, Southern Indiana: 3
Box Score

DECATUR, Ala.The University of Southern Indiana softball team performed a pair of late-game rallies, but six unearned runs in their first game and a 4-0 deficit in their second game proved to be too much for the Screaming Eagles to overcome as they fell to Delta State University, 8-6, and to the University of North Alabama, 4-3, Saturday at the University of Alabama-Huntsville Charger Chillout.

Sara Loete

Delta State (9-2) took advantage of a USI error in the bottom of the second inning to take a 1-0 lead. The Eagles, however, answered when junior designated player Sara Loete (Pekin, Illinois) launched a three-run bomb over the leftfield fence to give USI a 3-1 advantage.

The Lady Statesman used the long ball in the fourth inning to plate two runs and tie the contest at 3-3; then capitalized on another USI error in the fifth inning to tack on five runs and take a commanding 8-3 advantage heading into the final two innings.

Lindsay Raikes

USI (0-10) charged back in the next half inning, using a two-run shot off the bat of junior outfielder Lindsay Raikes (Speedway, Indiana) and an RBI-single by Loete to cut the deficit to 8-6.

The Eagles brought the tying run to the plate in the seventh inning, but back-to-back strikeouts ended any hope of a USI comeback.

Sophomore hurler Dawn McClellan (Valparaiso, Indiana) was charged with the loss after giving up six runs, two earned, off eight hits in 4.1 innings of work. McClellan fell to 0-6 with the decision.

Against North Alabama (4-3), the Eagles found themselves playing catch-up from the start as the Lions scored a run in the bottom of the first inning to take a 1-0 lead. USI saw the Lions plate two more in the bottom of the third and another in the sixth inning to take a commanding lead 4-0 into the top portion of the seventh frame.

USI, however, did not go quietly as Loete led the inning off with her second home run of the day to cut the deficit to three runs. A single and an error brought the tying run to the plate, but junior catcher Tara McConnell's (Henderson, Kentucky) shot to leftfield fell just short of the fence to preserve North Alabama's three run advantage.

After another out, the Eagles' patience at the plate paid dividends as back-to-back walks followed by an infield hit by Raikes tacked on two more runs to cut the deficit to a single tally. North Alabama hurler Megan Niesel, however, got senior shortstop Allyn McKinley (Sullivan, Indiana) to ground out with the bases loaded to end USI's comeback bid and keep the Eagles out of the win column.

Senior pitcher Stephanie Schneider (Birdseye, Indiana) was tagged with the setback after giving up four runs off nine hits in six innings of work. She falls to 0-4 with the loss.

USI wraps up the Charger Chillout Sunday when it takes on Truman State University and Columbus State University Sunday at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., respectively.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information

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