USI Softball signs five for 2024-25 class


EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana Softball announced that five student-athletes have signed national letters of intent to compete for the Screaming Eagles in 2024-25.

“We are really excited about our 2024 class of new Screaming Eagles,” USI Softball Head Coach Sue Kunkle said. “This is a very talented class, and our coaching staff expects that all of them will contribute immediately and continue to level up our program. As a group, these five will bring tons of athleticism, power, and versatility.”

Three of Southern Indiana’s five signees are from Southern Indiana Athletic Conference member schools in the Evansville area.

Lilly Brown (Evansville, Indiana) is a 5’5″ utility who can play first base and outfield. The lefty was a multi-sport athlete at Reitz Memorial High School. For her high school career, Brown has batted .342 with 53 runs, 46 RBIs, and 23 doubles with a .879 OPS. Last year, she set career highs, including 30 RBIs. She was named All-SIAC Second Team twice. Brown’s aunt, Brittany DeWeese ’11, played for Kunkle and the Screaming Eagles from 2008-11. Brown has played for several club teams, including the Texas Bombers, Shockwaves, Eagles, Kentucky Freedom, and Unity Pirillo.

Jordan Mackey (Evansville, Indiana) is a 5’9″ right-handed catcher/utility from Harrison High School, where she was a multi-sport athlete and the school’s athlete of the year in 2022-23. Mackey is a versatile hitter and is solid defensively at catcher and in the infield. Last season, Mackey hit .477 with 21 runs, 27 RBIs, 20 extra-base hits with eight home runs, and a 1.645 OPS. Mackey’s eight home runs were a single-season record at Harrison, and she is currently tied for the career home run record at Harrison with 15. She was top five in the SIAC for batting average, home runs, RBIs, walks, and slugging percentage. Mackey was All-Metro and All-SIAC Second Team in 2022, and she was All-Metro and All-SIAC First Team in 2023. She was ranked 32nd in the class of ’24 by Extra Innings. Plus, Mackey has a connection to USI already, as her mother, Molly (Blackford) ’02, played for Kunkle and the Screaming Eagles between 1999-2002. Mackey played select ball for Indiana Magic Gold Gerth.

Jinnis Gerth (Evansville, Indiana), a 5’9″ outfielder, comes to USI out of North High School. The right-hander is a versatile power hitter. During high school, Gerth has batted .297 with 50 runs, 50 RBIs, 18 extra-base hits with six home runs, and a .816 OPS. Last season, Gerth had a career season as a junior, hitting .347 with 28 RBIs and six home runs while posting an OPS above 1.000. She helped lead North to a sectional championship and its first regional title since 1996 last spring. Gerth has been an All-SIAC selection as well during her high school career. Gerth played travel ball with Indiana Magic Gold Gerth 24/25.

Kylie Witthaus (Jonesburg, Missouri), a 5’5″ left-handed pitcher, comes to USI out of Warrenton High School. Witthaus will bring a different look to USI’s pitching staff from the left side. In 2023, Witthaus went 16-9 with 23 complete games in 25 starts and 159.7 innings. She posted a 1.40 ERA with 270 strikeouts. Witthaus is also a power presence at the plate, where she hit .447 with 27 RBIs last season. Witthaus was All-Conference Second Team her first two seasons and All-Conference First Team in 2022 and 2023. She has also been First-Team All-District and All-Region the last three years. In 2022, Witthaus was All-State First Team and the GAC North Player of the Year. Her team was conference champions from 2020-22, district champions in 2021 and 2022, and finished fourth place in Missouri in 2022. In 2022, Witthaus set her high school’s single-season record for strikeouts and had a 21-strikeout game that season. Plus, she tossed a perfect game during the 2023 season. The southpaw was also Academic All-Conference for four years and Academic All-State from 2020-22. Witthaus played select ball with St. Louis Chaos 18u Mazzola.

Grace Huffman (Greenwood, Indiana) is a 5’9″ catcher and corner infielder from Center Grove High School. Huffman began her varsity career as a sophomore, hitting .333. She went on to bat .622 with nine doubles and four home runs in high school A multi-sport athlete in high school, Huffman is a strong hitter who played travel ball with Indy Dreams 18u Streeval. She batted .416 with 13 doubles and eight home runs with her travel squad.

USI Softball begins its second season as an NCAA Division I program and second in the Ohio Valley Conference in February. The Eagles are coming off a third-place finish in the OVC to earn their first OVC Tournament berth last spring. The 2024 spring championship schedule will be released later.