University of Southern Indiana Softball salvaged a split to its opening day of the 2018 season and the Charger Chillout. After falling, 6-3, to the University of North Alabama in their opener, the No. 6 Screaming Eagles roared back to earn a 9-1, five-inning, victory over host University of Alabama-Huntsville.
Three different players hit at least .600 for the Eagles on the day, led by junior second baseman Claire Johnson (Pittsboro, Indiana), who was 5-of-7 at the dish with a triple, three runs scored and an RBI. Sophomore outfielder Allison Schubert (Nicholasville, Kentucky) was 4-of-6 with a pair of doubles, a triple and three RBIs; while sophomore pitcher Jennifer Leonhardt(Louisville, Kentucky) was 3-of-5 with a triple and three RBIs.
USI (1-1) returns to action Friday at noon when it takes on Midwest Region for Trevecca Nazarene University. The Eagles also play Delta State University Friday at 2 p.m., while their games against Ohio Dominican University and Lee University have been canceled.
North Alabama 6, Southern Indiana 3
USI committed four defensive miscues, which led to three unearned runs as the Eagles suffered a 6-3 loss in the opener.
North Alabama (4-2) capitalized on two USI errors in the last half of the second inning to build a 2-0 lead. The Eagles answered with three unearned runs of their own in the top of the third to take a 3-2 lead.
Senior third baseman Mena Fulton (Bloomington, Indiana) pushed across the first run with an RBI-single; while Schubert had a two-run double to put the Eagles in front.
North Alabama, however, answered with a two-run homer in its half of the third frame to retake the lead; then took advantage of another USI error to plate another run and take a 5-3 lead into the fourth.
The Lions added another tally in the sixth frame and held the Eagles to just two hits and three base runners in the final four innings to earn the win.
Junior pitcher Haylee Smith (Florence, Kentucky) was charged with the loss in her first appearance in over a year after giving up four runs, two earned, in two-plus innings of work.
Southern Indiana 9, Alabama-Huntsville 1 (5 inn.)
After spotting the Chargers (6-2) a 1-0 lead, the Eagles answered with nine unanswered runs to earn a 9-1, five inning, win via the eight-run rule.
USI took advantage of an Alabama-Huntsville error to tie the contest at 1-1 in the last half of the first inning; then got an RBI-single from junior catcher Lindsey Barr (Whitesville, Kentucky) to take a 2-1 lead in the second inning.
Leonhardt’s two-run single capped off a three-run second inning as USI went up, 4-1. She had a run-scoring triple in the Eagles’ four-run fourth inning that put USI in front, 8-1. Senior first baseman Marleah Fossett (Brownsburg, Indiana) had an RBI-groundout in the fourth inning, while Schubert had an RBI-double.
Johnson ended the game in the fifth with a walk-off, RBI-single.
Leonhardt (1-0) earned the win after giving up just one run off three hits in five innings of work.