University of Southern Indiana Softball salvaged a Midwest Region doubleheader split with former Great Lakes Valley Conference foe Kentucky Wesleyan College Wednesday afternoon at the USI Softball Field.
The Screaming Eagles (12-17) earned a 7-1 win in the nightcap after falling, 9-8, in nine innings in the opener.
Senior outfielder Alicia Webb (Elberfeld, Indiana) went a combined 4-for-8 at the dish with a triple and five RBI to pace the Eagles' offensively. Sophomore shortstop Jordan Rager (Fishers, Indiana) also was 4-for-8 with a pair of triples and three RBI, while freshman outfielder Mackenzi Bedrick (Brownsburg, Indiana) went 5-for-9 with an RBI, stolen base and four runs scored.
Game 1: KWC 9, USI 8 (9 inn.)
USI committed five errors and gave up nine unearned runs in a 9-8, extra inning loss in the opener.
The Eagles struck first in the bottom of the first inning when Rager hit an RBI-triple to right-centerfield to score Bedrick. Webb followed with an RBI-single and USI led 2-0 after an inning of play.
KWC (11-18), however, sent 12 batters to the plate in the top of the third inning as the Panthers had six hits and took advantage of three USI errors to score seven times to take a commanding five-run lead.
USI quickly responded in the last half of the inning as Webb, freshman first baseman Lexi Fair (Greenwood, Indiana) and sophomore second baseman Rachel Martinez (Chicago, Illinois) all had RBI-singles to cut USI's deficit to 7-5 after three frames.
After three scoreless innings, USI got a sacrifice fly from sophomore catcher/designated player Sammie Kihega (Greenfield, Indiana) to push a run across the plate. On the play, however, KWC sophomore centerfielder Meryck Hardley had a throwing error, allowing the tying run to cross the plate and send the game into extra innings.
With the international tiebreaker rule being used, neither team was able to push across a run in the eighth inning. It looked as if the Eagles were going to get out of the ninth inning unscathed as well, but a throw from junior pitcher Elissa Brown (Brownsburg, Indiana) to first base that would have registered the third out sailed wide and off the end of the Fair's glove, allowing two runs to score and giving the Panthers a 9-7 lead.
USI capitalized on the international tiebreaker rule in the ninth as Bedrick had a one-out, RBI-single to push across a run before making it to second on another error. USI, however, could not push the tying run across the plate as Rager popped up to second base for the second out and Webb struck swinging after hitting a monstrous foul ball down the leftfield line that would have given USI the win had it been fair.
Brown (1-2) took the loss in a relief effort after giving up two unearned runs off three hits in 6.1 innings of work. Senior pitcher Bailey Woodall (3-6) earned the win after giving up eight runs, six earned, off 13 hits in 9.0 innings of action.
Game 2: USI 7, KWC 1
USI got a strong pitching performance from sophomore pitcher Allie Goodin (Evansville, Indiana) and another strong team performance at the plate en route to the 7-1 win in the nightcap.
Goodin (7-5) gave up just one run off three hits and three walks, while striking out eight batters to earn the complete-game victory. She gave the Eagles a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning after Fair was hit by a pitch to begin the frame. Martinez followed with a double and Goodin's RBI-single put USI up 1-0.
KWC responded with a tally in the third inning and the score was tied a 1-1 after three complete.
Rager's two-out triple in the bottom of the fourth inning put the Eagles up 3-1. USI tacked on four more tallies in the sixth as a three-run triple by Webb was followed by an RBI by Kihega.
In all, the Eagles racked up 11 hits in the game, including two hits apiece from Rager, Webb, Martinez and Goodin.
Senior pitcher Evyn Hendrickson (7-8) took the loss for the Panthers after giving up seven runs off 11 hits in 6.0 innings of work.
USI travels to Rolla, Missouri, to take on Missouri University of Science & Technology in a GLVC doubleheader Saturday at noon. The Eagles conclude their regular-season road schedule Sunday at noon when the visit Maryville University for a conference doubleheader in St. Louis, Missouri.