Lindsay Pickering didn't think she was ready to be a two-sport athlete when she originally entered Southeast Missouri State.
But Pickering is ready now, and she demonstrated Friday night that she should be a nice addition to the Redhawks' soccer program as a goalkeeper.
Pickering, already a two-year starter for the Southeast softball team, had a shutout in regulation as the Redhawks battled the J.B. Marine Soccer Club from St. Louis to a 0-0 tie, although the visitors prevailed in penalty kicks during the exhibition contest at Houck Stadium.
"I'm definitely enjoying this, after not playing soccer the last couple of years," said a smiling Pickering, about to begin her junior year at Southeast. "I'm glad to be out here."
Pickering, a softball and soccer standout at St. Charles West High School, at first decided to concentrate on softball only at Southeast, even though the university's soccer coaching staff approached her about also playing that sport.
"I felt I had more improvement in softball I needed to make," Pickering said.
After leading the Redhawks in batting with a .343 average this past spring, the outfielder decided it was about time she gave soccer another try, much to the delight of Southeast's coaches.
"We approached her when she came in as a freshman, but she just wanted to play softball," said assistant Beth Guccione, a former all-conference keeper for the Redhawks. "We're definitely excited to have her. She's been working hard and she's going to help us."
Pickering and freshman Gianna Logston are battling for the starting spot in the nets, although Logston did not play Friday because of an injury that is not considered serious. The pair had split time during last Saturday's exhibition opener, a penalty kick win over the St. Louis Soccer Club.
"I think both of them are looking good," Guccione said.
Pickering said she does not feel all that rusty after her long layoff and is ready to help the Redhawks in any way possible.
"I worked out a lot this summer and I think I'm coming around pretty good," she said. "I've got a great bunch of teammates in both sports, and I'm looking forward to this season. I just want to help the team win."
Pickering was not all that busy during regulation Friday, although she did make a diving save on a breakaway with under five minutes left that kept that contest scoreless.
In a fairly even game, Southeast's best chance came with 24 minutes remaining in the second half when freshman Nicole Bussman was stopped point-blank by J.B. Marine keeper Maggie Winkler.
J.B. Marine converted four of five penalty kicks, while Southeast managed to make just three of five.
"It was a good opportunity for us to look at a lot of players in a variety of positions again, but we didn't play particularly well," Southeast coach Heather Nelson said. "We've worked very hard [in preseason practice] and it has taken a toll. We're exhausted."
The Redhawks will have a final exhibition match tonight, facing a Southeast alumni team at 7:30 p.m. at Houck Stadium.