No. 1 University of Southern Indiana Softball concluded the final day of the UAH Charger Chillout with another split. The Screaming Eagles defeated the University of Montevallo, 5-4, in their opener, before falling to Georgia College, 1-0, in the nightcap.
Junior shortstop Taylor Ricketts (Georgetown, Kentucky) went 3-for-5 with a double and a run scored to lead the Eagles at the plate, while junior outfielder Caitlyn Bradley (Forest, Indiana) drove in a team-high three runs.
#1 USI 5, Montevallo (7-2) 4
USI (2-4) scored three times in the top of the first inning to take a 3-0 lead over the Falcons. Freshman first baseman Kat Mueller (Evansville, Indiana) had an RBI-single to put the Eagles on the board, while Bradley followed with a two-run triple.
Montevallo cut into the Eagles’ cushion with a run in the bottom of the first frame, but a lead-off single by Ricketts followed by a two-out error three batters later allowed the Eagles to increase their lead to 4-1.
The Falcons, once again, cut into USI’s advantage with runs in the fifth and sixth innings, but a lead-off double in the seventh inning by junior outfielder Allison Schubert (Nicholasville, Kentucky) followed by a sacrifice fly by Bradley two batters late gave USI a crucial two-run advantage.
Montevallo scored another run in the seventh to get to within 5-4, but Leonhardt was able to get out of the jam to preserve the victory.
Leonhardt (2-1) earned the win in the circle for USI after scattering four runs, three earned, off seven hits throughout seven innings. She had six strikeouts and four walks on the day.
Georgia College (6-4) 1, USI 0
A first-inning run proved to be the difference-maker as the Bobcats held the Eagles off the scoreboard. Georgia College pitcher Rebecca Lawrence held the Eagles to just four hits, while recording eight strikeouts as USI was shutout for the first time since losing to the University of Illinois Springfield, 6-0, March 30, 2018.
A bright spot for the Eagles was the effort of freshman pitcher Katie Back (Indianapolis, Indiana), who held the Bobcats off the scoreboard throughout four-and-two-thirds innings of work. Back, who entered the circle with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the second inning, allowed just three hits and one walk to a team that scored 20 runs in its previous outing. She finished with five strikeouts.
Freshman pitcher Elissa Brown (Brownsburg, Indiana) was charged with the loss after giving up one run off two hits and four walks in her first collegiate start. Brown (0-1) finished with a pair of strikeouts in one-and-a-third innings of work.
The Eagles return to action February 22-24 when they host the Midwest Region Crossover at Deaconess Sports Park in Evansville, Indiana.