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March 13, 2009

Eagles defeat Le Moyne, edge Dowling

Southern Indiana (7-15): 6, Le Moyne (7-2): 2
-Box Score

Southern Indiana: 4, Dowling (3-7): 3
-Box Score (9 innings)

KISSIMMEE, Fla.The University of Southern Indiana softball team defeated Le Moyne College, 6-2, and Dowling College, 4-3, in nine innings Friday in its fifth day of competition at the Division II Rebel Spring Games.

USI (7-15) used a pair of strong pitching performances and took advantage of some opportune miscues by its opponents to pull out the two victories.

Amanda Brendel

The Screaming Eagles used an RBI-single off the bat of sophomore infielder Amanda Brendel (Salem, Illinois) to plate a run in the bottom of the first inning against Le Moyne (7-2).

USI took advantage of a pair of errors and got RBIs from sophomore outfielder Heather Swarts (Gas City, Indiana), junior outfielder Lindsay Raikes (Speedway, Indiana), and junior designated player Sara Loete (Pekin, Illinois) to extend its lead to 4-1 in the bottom of the second inning.

Brendel scored in the fourth frame on an RBI-ground out by senior shortstop Allyn McKinley (Sullivan, Indiana) to add to the Eagles' advantage, while Swarts scored on an RBI-single by junior catcher Tara McConnell (Henderson, Kentucky) in the next inning to give the Eagles a comfortable 6-1 advantage heading into the final two sets.

Hadley Clark

Freshman pitcher Hadley Clark (Owensboro, Kentucky) gave up just two runs off eight hits in seven innings to pick up her second victory of the season. She allowed just one run off five hits in the first six innings.

The Eagles jumped out to a 2-0 lead against Dowling (3-7) on the strength of an RBI-double by sophomore infielder Dani Finkelstein (Windsor, Colorado) in the top half of the second inning and a solo home run by Brendel in the sixth frame.

Stephanie Schneider

Senior hurler Stephanie Schneider (Birdseye, Indiana) was magnificent throughout the first six innings of USI's game against Dowling, surrendering just one hit and two base runners as the Eagles took a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning.

However, Dowling's bats came alive in the last part of the seventh inning as it tied the contest on the strength of a two-run home run by first baseman Jackie Hannan. The Golden Lions started the inning with three straight hits, including the home run, and had the winning run at third base before Schneider got out of the jam.

Both teams took advantage of the international tie-breaker rule in the eighth innings, with the two teams swapping tallies before going into a ninth frame. Brendel gave USI a 3-2 advantage with an RBI-single in the eighth set, while senior rightfielder Lacey Ligmanowski (Homer Glen, Illinois) hit a sacrifice fly to give USI a 4-3 edge in the ninth frame.

Schneider (3-7) shut Dowling down in the ninth inning to give the Eagles the victory and pick up her third win of the year. She gave up three runs, just two earned, off five hits and struck out a career-high 12 batters in the process. Schneider retired the first 11 batters she faced before giving up a two-out single in the fourth inning.

USI concludes its 12-game run in the Division II Rebel Spring Games Saturday when it faces Southwest Minnesota State University at 2 p.m. (CDT) and Midwest Region foe Wayne State University at 4 p.m.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information

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