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April 04, 2009

Eagles fall twice to Northern Kentucky

at Northern Kentucky (15-15, 5-5 GLVC): 12, Southern Indiana (9-27, 1-9 GLVC): 2
-Game 1 Box Score (6 innings)

at Northern Kentucky: 15, Southern Indiana: 6
-Game 2 Box Score (5 innings)

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky.The University of Southern Indiana softball team could not overcome a rough start to game one of its GLVC doubleheader with Northern Kentucky University as it lost 12-2 in six innings in game one and 15-6 in five innings in game two.

Allyn McKinley

After surrendering five runs to the Norse in the bottom of the first inning of game one, the Screaming Eagles cut the deficit to 5-2 on the strength of RBIs by senior shortstop Allyn McKinley (Sullivan, Indiana) and sophomore second baseman Amanda Brendel (Salem, Illinois) in the top of the third inning. McKinley walked to force in USI's first run, while Brendel hit a sacrifice fly to plate the Eagles second run in the next at-bat.

Northern Kentucky (15-15, 5-5 GLVC), however, answered the Eagles' offensive outburst in the bottom of the third frame by plating two runs to reclaim the five-run advantage. The Norse struck for two more runs in the fifth inning and ended the contest via the eight-run rule with a walk-off three-run home run in the sixth inning.

The loss marked the first time this season that the Eagles have fallen via the eight-run rule. Sophomore hurler Dawn McClellan (Valparaiso, Indiana) was charged with the setback after giving up five runs off four hits in one-third of an inning. She falls to 3-10 with the decision.

After falling behind by a pair of runs early in the contest, USI (9-27, 1-9 GLVC) exploded for six runs in the top of the second inning to take a 6-2 lead. Senior rightfielder Lacey Ligmanowski (Homer Glen, Illinois) had an RBI double to get the Eagles on the board.

Junior leftfielder Lindsay Raikes (Speedway, Indiana) drew a walk three batters later to tie the contest at 2-2; then junior catcher Tara McConnell (Henderson, Kentucky) had an RBI single to give the Eagles a 3-2 lead.

McKinley followed McConnell's hit with a three-run double to give USI a four-run cushion heading into the last half of the second inning.

After setting the Norse down in order in the second inning, freshman Hadley Clark (Owensboro, Kentucky) ran into problems in the third inning as Northern Kentucky erupted for 10 runs on the strength of a two-run home run and a grand slam.

All 10 runs came with two outs and gave the Norse a commanding 12-6 lead. Northern Kentucky took advantage of one of USI's five errors to tack on three more tallies in the fourth frame before setting the Eagles down in order in the fifth inning to win the game via the eight-run rule.

Clark (2-5) was charged with the loss after giving up 10 runs, four earned, off eight hits in 2.2 innings of work.

USI returns home to face No. 18 Lewis University in a GLVC doubleheader beginning at noon at the USI Softball Field. The Eagles also host Quincy University Friday at 2 p.m. for another GLVC twinbill.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information

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