Feb. 22, 2009
By Kyle Herm
ELON, N.C. - The No.24 Southern Illinois softball team (11-0) escaped with a 4-2 win over North Carolina A&T in 10 innings on Sunday at the Bojangle's Elon Invitational.
The second game against Elon was called in the top of the sixth inning because of SIU's flight schedule.
Prior to the start, which began 30 minutes late at 12:45 p.m., both teams' coaches decided to stop the game if it was not over by 2:45 p.m., no matter who had the lead.
The game exceeded the two-hour window and was cancelled as a result of the agreed upon terms.
Southern Illinois still went 3-0 on the weekend and improved to 11-0 overall, which is just one win away from the program's best start of 12-0 set in 1991.
The Salukis will travel to Columbus, Ga. next weekend for the prestigious NFCA Leadoff Classic and open against No. 1-ranked Alabama and No. 4 Michigan on Friday, Feb. 27 at 1:30 p.m. ET and 6:30 p.m. ET.
#24 Southern Illinois 4 North Carolina A&T 2 (10 innings)
Amidst a 1-1 nail biter for the final six innings, senior catcher Jayme Wamsley came through in the clutch to drive in Katie Wilson from third for the go-head score in the top of the 10th inning.
NCAT had one last chance to answer with the final bat, but senior reliever Katie McNamara calmly preserved SIU's lead en route to her fifth victory of the season.
Southern Illinois took the first lead of the game in the top of the third.
Senior outfielder Katie Schmidt drilled a solo home run to deep center field to put SIU up 1-0.
NCAT's Brittney Reddick quickly evened the score though with a solo homer to center in the bottom of the third.
After the pair of home runs, both team's offenses went utterly quite during the final four innings of regulation to set the stage for the extra-inning drama.
McNamara posted another stellar outing in relief of sophomore starter Nikki Waters in the fifth.
The lefthander finished with eight strikeouts, including three straight with two runners on in the fifth, and only three hits.
She also did not give up an earned run for the 27th straight inning pitched this season.
Luper took the loss for the Aggies and fell to 2-2.