Senior Allie VadeBoncouer went 2-for-3 at the plate with two RBIs on a solo home run and a double.
March 2, 2014
By Tyler Wooten
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- Saluki softball wrapped up the Coach B Classic with a dominant 10-3 victory over Miami (Ohio) on Sunday.
A second game was originally scheduled this afternoon against Murray State, but was postponed due to the impending threat of freezing rain and snow over the southeast Missouri, southern Illinois and western Kentucky regions. Southern and MSU will reschedule at a later date.
The Salukis (7-7) come out of the four-team gathering at .500 after posting a 2-1 record -- which included two large victories over Miami (4-8) and a close 4-0 loss to Kansas (11-7). The Redhawks only managed one win, but played close games to the wire against solid Murray State and Kansas squads.
Starting pitcher Shaye Harre did it all versus the Redhawks on Sunday, pitching three hitless innings and going 2-for-4 with four RBIs at the plate. Harre helped her own cause out in the fourth inning with a three-run home run that was crushed over the right field wall and cleared the bleachers.
It was smooth sailing for Harre and the Salukis in the first three and a half innings, as the Redhawks weren't able to get a hit off the lefty all day and only managed a walk in the second inning. After Southern's big top half in the fourth, though, Miami was able to string together three runs and knock Harre out of the game after she walked the first two batters of the inning.
"(Harre) gave us a quality start," said SIU head coach Kerri Blaylock. "She got into a little bit of trouble, but she's not thrown competitively since her junior summer in high school. She's still gotta get back some game action, and that's our job to get her in there. I thought she did a really good job. She kinda lost her mechanics a little bit and and I think that's where the walks came in, but she'll get more starts for us."
Offensively, the Salukis showed no mercy to Miami pitching for the second time in as many days, scoring in each of the last four innings. In addition to Harre, Southern was led offensively again by senior catcher Allie VadeBoncouer, who posted a 2-for-3 outing that saw a solo home run in the second inning and an RBI double in the fifth. This weekend the senior hit 4-for-8 with five RBIs on two doubles and two home runs, which pushed her season batting average to .310.
"Allie honestly set the tone," Blaylock said. "(Miami's Amber) Logemann did such a good job early in those first few at-bats that when Allie hit that bomb everybody was like, okay, we can get on this kid."
"I thought we played a great game today," Blaylock said. "Miami of Ohio beat a very good Murray State team and played a great game against Kansas, and that's why I feel so good about it. I felt like our pitching was dominant. We got into a little trouble with walks, but our hitters just really focused in and did a great job."
The Coach B Classic was originally slated to be played in Carbondale, but moving it to Chattanooga proved successful in not only avoiding the winter weather in southern Illinois, but getting valuable playing time as conference season draws near.
"(Moving the tournament) gave us an extra game, so it just gives the kids more time to get settled," Blaylock said. "This spring has been the worst since I've been a coach as far as weather goes."
Next up for the Salukis is the Under Armour Classic in Clearwater, Fla., which is scheduled to be five games against Boston University, Boston College, Fordham, Providence and Saint Joseph's.
"We want to take one game at a time in Florida and use Florida to get us ready for conference," Blaylock said. "We're starting to get better about things, we're starting to play more complete games and I think we need to continue that."