Softball holds on to beat Coastal Carolina, 4-3




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    Feb. 8, 2008

    By Kyle Herm
    www.SIUSalukis.com

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Saluki softball team held off Coastal Carolina,4-3, Friday afternoon to earn their second win at the Jacksonville University Tournament.

    SIU improved to 2-0 on the season behind the play of sophomore right fielder Katie Wilson, who went 2-for-2 at the plate and drove in a season-high three RBI. Sophomore second baseman Alicia Garza also provided offensive productivity, going 2-for-3 and recording one RBI.

    The Salukis jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead in the first two innings of play.

    In the bottom of the first, Wilson hit a two-out double to score Garza from second, to put SIU up, 1-0. It was Wilson's second double in as many games, after recording a two-base hit in the season-opener against UNC-Greensboro earlier in the day.

    Southern Illinois started a scoring spree in the bottom of the second with two outs. Garza doubled to score senior left fielder Tiffanie Dismore, and Wilson followed with a towering two-RBI triple to centerfield. It was the first-career triple for Wilson, which helped put the Salukis up, 4-0.

    Coastal Carolina edged a run across in the top of the third to cut the Salukis' lead, 4-1, on a two-out RBI triple by junior Verity Long-Droppert.

    After scoreless fourth and fifth innings, Coastal Carolina notched two more runs in the top of the sixth to move within a run, 4-3. Freshman pitcher, Nikki Waters, entered the game, however, and provided a late-inning lift in the circle for Southern Illinois.

    With two outs and two runners on, Waters struck out Allison Cantrell to end the sixth inning, and preserve the Salukis' one-run lead.

     

     

    Coastal Carolina attempted one last rally in the top of the seventh. Long-Droppert led-off with a single, but junior catcher Jayme Wamsley threw her out trying to steal two pitches later. Following a walk, Waters retired the next two Lady Chanticleers on a popout and strikeout to end the game.

    Relief pitcher, junior Katie McNamara earned the victory with two strikeouts in 2 1/3 innings, and Waters earned her first-career save.

    Although she did not factor into the decision, freshman pitcher Danielle Glosson, struck out five of the first eight batters she faced in 3 1/3 innings pitched.

    "We hung on for a good victory," said SIU head coach Kerri Blaylock. "It was kind of a haphazard game, but we really hung on and (Alicia) Garza and Willie (Katie Wilson) did a great job offensively."

    Southern Illinois continues play at the Jacksonville University Tournament, Saturday, Feb. 9 against Minnesota at 10 a.m. ET, and against host Jacksonville at 7:15 p.m. ET.

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