University of Southern Indiana Softball sophomore pitcher Jennifer Leonhardt (Louisville, Kentucky) struck out 10 batters as the No. 14 Screaming Eagles forged a doubleheader split with visiting Maryville University in their Great Lakes Valley Conference opener Saturday at the USI Softball Field.
After suffering a 5-3 setback in the first game, the Eagles earned a 3-0 triumph in the second contest to come away with the split. Sophomore shortstop Taylor Ricketts (Georgetown, Kentucky) went a combined 4-of-6 with an RBI to lead the Eagles at the plate.
USI (12-9, 1-1 GLVC) returns to action Saturday at noon when it hosts Bellarmine University in a GLVC doubleheader at the USI Softball Field.
Game 1: Maryville 5, at USI 3 (Box Score)
Maryville (12-6, 1-1 GLVC) scored three times on a three-run double by sophomore pitcher Alyssa Callans in the in the top of the first inning and had a solo home run by sophomore shortstop Jaclyn Pasakarnis in the third to take a 4-0 advantage.
Sophomore outfielder Allison Schubert (Nicholasville, Kentucky) put the Eagles on the board with a solo home run in the last half of the fourth frame, while Leonhardt drove in a pair of runs on a two-out error in the fifth to bring the Eagles to within a single tally.
The Saints, however, got an insurance run in the top of the seventh inning and set the Eagles down in order in the last halves of the sixth and seventh frames to preserve the win.
Junior pitcher Courtney Atkisson (Bringhurst, Indiana) was charged with the loss after giving up five runs, two earned, off eight hits in 6 1/3 innings of work. Atkisson (4-2) had a pair of strikeouts in the loss.
Game 2: at USI 3, Maryville 0 (Box Score)
A solo home run by junior outfielder/pitcher Caitlyn Bradley (Forest, Indiana) put the Eagles up 1-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning, while RBI-singles by Leonhardt and Ricketts in the fifth and sixth frames, respectively, gave USI a commanding three-run cushion.
Leonhardt (5-5) was masterful in the circle, surrendering just four hits while fanning 10 batters, just one off her season high, to pick up the victory. She allowed just five base runners in total and did not allow a runner past second base.
USI also was aided by the efforts of senior third baseman Mena Fulton (Bloomington, Indiana) and senior outfielder Olivia Clark-Kittleson (Carbondale, Illinois), both of whom went 2-for-3 at the plate. Clark-Kittleson’s lead-off single in the fifth frame led to a USI tally, while Fulton’s lead-off double in the sixth led to the Eagles’ third run of the contest.