Feb. 15, 2013
By Robin Thuringer
FORT MYERS, Fla.-- The Southern Illinois University softball team opened the Florida Gulf Coast University Tournament Friday falling to Appalachian State and Georgia Southern.
"We are taking some punches right now and just need to settle down," said SIU head coach Kerri Blaylock. "The first 15 games of our schedule are very, very tough and we have to be prepared for it and stick in there and try to play."
SIU 9, Appalachian State 10 Box Score
Pitching woes doomed Southern Illinois' (3-3) early six-run lead Friday morning in the first game of FGCU Tournament.
Southern Illinois got on the scoreboard early Friday morning courtesy of Appalachian State (1-0) errors. The Salukis scored one run in the top of the inning from a Kelsea Ashton walk. Ashton advanced two bases on wild pitches to put the Dawgs up 1-0.
Michelle Bradley worked a walk to start the second inning for the Salukis. Freshman Kelsey Gonzalez was hit by a pitch to get on base followed by a Kelsea Ashton walk to load the bases, brining Taylor Orsburn to the plate.
The ASU pitcher struggled with control tossing a wild pitch to score Bradley. Orsburn then singled up the middle of the field bringing around Gonzalez and Ashton. Southern Illinois closed out the second inning scoring three runs to lead the Mountaineers 4-0. Appalachian State scored one run in the bottom of the second inning.
Appalachian State rallied in the third inning working the Saluki pitching staff, scoring four runs. Alyssa Wunderlich came into the game replacing Brittney Lang but provided little relief. The Mountaineers collected another run in the fourth inning to trail by only one run.
Southern converted singles from Taylor Orsburn and Jayna Spivey to post their final two runs of the game in the sixth inning. ASU had a three-run seventh inning to send the game into extra innings. The Salukis couldn't produce a run in the eighth inning allowing Appalachian State the chance at last bats. The Mountaineers were able to bring in one run to end the game, defeating the Salukis 10-9.
Brittney Lang came back into the game in the sixth inning but failed to find her groove in the circle giving up a total of eight runs including 10 walks. Taylor Orsburn brought in four runs on five at bats for the Salukis.
"We did not throw well at all and just could not settle down," Blaylock said. "Defensively I thought we played a good game there were just too many walks."
SIU 0, Georgia Southern 1
Southern Illinois (3-4) struggled offensively in the second game of the afternoon against Georgia Southern (4-1). The Salukis were shut out by Sarah Purvis, the 2013 Southern Conference preseason Pitcher of the Year as she compiled 11 strikeouts to pitch a perfect game.
The Eagles tallied six hits and drew three walks from Alyssa Wunderlich but were only able to bring in one run. The lone run would be enough to win the game and seal the no-no for Purvis.
"Alyssa Wunderlich threw a great game but the Georgia Southern pitcher really threw like the preseason Pitcher of the Year would, she kept us off balance," Blaylock said.
The Salukis are back in action tomorrow morning for a rematch with Georgia Southern at 8 a.m. CT followed by a nightcap with host Florida Gulf Coast at 5 p.m. CT.