Home Local Sports USI wins series opener at UT Martin behind Newman’s 17 strikeouts

USI wins series opener at UT Martin behind Newman’s 17 strikeouts


MARTIN, Tenn. – University of Southern Indiana Softball opened a three-game road series at the University of Tennessee at Martin on Friday with a 2-0 shutout victory behind the arm of junior starting pitcher Josie Newman (Indianapolis, Indiana), who matched a career mark of 17 strikeouts against the Skyhawks.
With the victory, Southern Indiana improved to 15-13 overall and 9-4 in the Ohio Valley Conference. With first-place Eastern Illinois University not in action on Friday, the Screaming Eagles head into Saturday’s slate of games within a half-game of the Panthers. UT Martin moved to 20-16 this season and 6-7 within the OVC.
Both starting pitchers were dialed in early, shutting down the offenses. Southern Indiana’s Newman and UT Martin senior pitcher Brooklyn Linneman matched each other in the circle in the early innings.
Southern Indiana got a runner into scoring position in the second inning after a pair of walks, but Linneman held the Screaming Eagles in check the rest of the inning.
Both teams were held hitless through four innings. USI recorded the game’s first hit in the fifth inning off the bat of freshman infielder Alyssa Mumaw (Greenfield, Indiana). The Skyhawks also tallied their first hit in the bottom half of the fifth.
In the top of the sixth inning, the Screaming Eagles’ offense broke through on the scoreboard. Senior first baseman Lexi Fair (Greenwood, Indiana) drove in the first run of the game on an RBI double. Senior catcher Sammie Kihega (Greenfield, Indiana) followed and made it a 2-0 lead for USI with an RBI single.
Newman continued to deal, striking out the side in innings four through six. It was only suiting that the right-hander finished the shutout win with a strikeout in the seventh inning.
For Newman, the 17 strikeouts matched her career high from March 2022 in an outing against Drury University. The 17 strikeouts were also the most that the UT Martin Softball program has ever incurred. The dominant start led to Newman’s 13th win of the season. The Skyhawks could only muster three hits and one walk off Newman on Friday.
As a reclassifying program to NCAA Division I, USI does not qualify for the official NCAA statistical rankings, but Newman would rank second in the nation with 152 total strikeouts this season through Friday’s action.
At the plate, USI plated its two runs with five hits from five different Screaming Eagles.
Newman’s starting opposition, Linneman from UT Martin, dropped to 7-4 on the season with the loss. Linneman tossed the first six frames, allowing two runs with three strikeouts.