SIU opened the first day of the NFCA Leadoff Classic defeating UC Davis and upsetting No. 14 South Florida.
Feb. 22, 2013
By Robin Thuringer
CLEARWATER, Fla.-- The Southern Illinois University softball team (6-6) opened up the NFCA Leadoff Classic Friday recording two wins. The Salukis topped UC Davis before upsetting No. 14 South Florida.
SIU 8, UC Davis 7 Box Score
UC Davis (5-6) came out of the gate ready to play in the first game of the NFCA Leadoff Classic scoring two runs in the first inning. Alyssa Wunderlich started for Southern, struggling against the Aggie bats.
"We didn't throw well but offensively we kept battling back and we have been consistently been playing really good defense," said SIU head coach Kerri Blaylock.
UC Davis held Southern Illinois for the first two innings but the SIU offense got its spark in the third inning scoring one run off a Morgan Barchan double. UC Davis picked up another two runs in the third inning to lead the Salukis 4-1.
Southern Illinois had a big fourth inning scoring four runs to take a one run lead over UCD. The offense battled in the beginning of the inning working walks into runs followed by a Jayna Spivey double to turn in two more runs.
SIU and UC Davis exchanged runs in the sixth inning to tie the game at seven runs apiece in the seventh inning. Kelsea Ashton led off the inning with a walk followed by a single from senior Morgan Barchan. Allie VadeBoncouer was granted a bag after being hit by a pitch to load the bases for Jayna Spivey. Spivey sent the ball to the outfield scoring Ashton to close out the game for the Salukis.
"It was a struggle to get the win," said Blaylock. "It was a good effort to hang in there and come away with it."
SIU 5, South Florida 4 Box Score
Southern Illinois topped the 14th ranked team in the country Friday afternoon. The Salukis held off South Florida (6-4) to beat the 2012 College World Series team 5-4.
"Any time you beat a ranked opponent especially a College World Series team from last year with the kid on the mound who took them there that is something," Blaylock said.
SIU's momentum continued as they were able to score their first run of the game in the first inning off USF pitching ace Sara Nevins.
Brittney Lang and the Saluki defense held South Florida hitless until the fourth inning. The Bulls were able to get on the board in the third inning courtesy of a fielder's choice.
The Salukis had an active fourth inning. Michelle Bradley kicked off the inning for SIU with a single to left field. Michelle Glenn then singled to move up Bradley followed by a Morgan Barchan walk to load the bases for Jayna Spivey. Spivey took advantage bringing in one run to tie the game before the completion of the inning.
SIU challenged the Bulls in the fifth inning scoring two runs without recording a hit. Southern showed patience at the plate and used effective base running to take a 4-2 lead. The Salukis scored their final run of the game in the sixth inning.
South Florida kept SIU on its toes in the seventh inning scoring two runs to threaten the Saluki lead. The Salukis escaped the nerve-wracking inning to put away South Florida 5-4.
Brittney Lang improved her record to 5-3 while SIU evenend out its record at 6-6.
Morgan Barchan was hot at the plate scoring two runs off two hits. The senior combined for four runs off five hits during the two games. Jayna Spivey recorded four hits while freshman Lacey Newbold chipped in two hits including her first career double.
"Props to our offense they had great aggressive base running plays and kept coming after them. We had a really tough schedule today and are really fortunate to get two wins."
Southern Illinois returns to action tomorrow taking on UMass at 3:30 p.m. CT followed by Central Florida at 6 p.m. CT.