March 7, 2010
By Beth Miller
CARBONDALE, Ill. - The Southern Illinois Softball finishes the weekend sweeping UIC and SIU-Edwardsville on the final day of competition at the Coach B. Classic. The Salukis went 3-1 on the weekend, defeating Kansas yesterday, while falling to Western Illinois.
SIU shut down UIC, 7-0, sending the Flames home 0-4 on the weekend. SIU-Edwardsville, on the other hand, entered its contest against the Salukis undefeated before falling to SIU 6-4.
Southern Illinois 7, Illinois-Chicago 0
The Salukis opened up their contest against the Flames in dramatic fashion earning an immediate 4-0 lead in the first inning. Outfielder Mallory Duran singled to start the inning, followed by Chelsea Held reaching on a walk. Alicia Garza hit a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners , grabbing the first out of the game. With runners on second and third, Allie Hanson was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Catcher Cristina Trapani took advantage of an SIU scoring opportunity, hitting her second home run of the season with a grand slam over the center field fence.
UIC attempted to comeback in the bottom of the second inning as Teresa Aguilar was hit by a pitch to take a base, and errors by SIU put two additional Flames on base. Although the Flames had opportunity to get on the board, the Salukis were able to get the out, escaping the inning before any runs would cross the plate.
SIU loaded the bases yet again in the top of the fourth inning, as Hanson singled to drive in a run giving Southern a 5-0 lead. The Salukis turned around to retire the first three batters in the bottom of the fourth to hold the Flames scoreless.
Junior pitcher Danielle Glosson got SIU out of a jam in the bottom of the sixth inning striking out three in a row after UIC put runners on second and third in scoring position. The third out of the inning marked Glosson's eighth strikeout of the game.
Glosson would strike out one more before the end of the game, for a total of nine on the day. The junior pitcher improves to 6-4, after losing her last three outings. Glosson allowed only three hits, striking out nine batters and allowing no walks.
SIU's offense dominated the Flames earning seven runs, drawing five walks and putting up six RBI. Duran went an impressive 3-for-4 from the plate, with two runs and drawing one walk. Trapani propelled the explosive offense with a grand slam in the first inning, her second home run of the season, fourth career.
The 7-0 victory marked SIU's fifth shut out of the season as they moved to 12-6 on the season. UIC dropped to 4-10, as they continue on a six-game losing streak.
Southern Illinois 6, SIU-Edwardsville 4
SIU-Edwardsville entered the contest undefeated on the weekend, having earned wins over Western Illinois, UIC and Kansas. But the Salukis would end that winning streak with an exciting 6-4 win over the Cougars.
It was an offensive battle between the Salukis and the Cougars as the two teams produced back-and-forth scoring throughout the game.
"I think the story of the day was the offense," head coach Kerri Blaylock said. "That's what we were asking them to do and they hit the ball extremely well today."
SIU-Edwardsville came out strong in the top of the first inning, putting a run on the board for an early 1-0 lead. The Salukis would answer in the bottom of the first as Mallory Duran doubled down the left field line and reaches third from Natalee Weissinger's sacrifice bunt. Alicia Garza stepped up with an RBI double deep into center field to bring in Duran for the tying run. A 1-1 start to the game wasn't good enough for the Salukis as Katie Wilson singled to center field, driving in Garza from second base for the 2-1 lead.
The Cougars would turn around in the top of the second inning, tying the game once again with an RBI single from Megan Murphy. The Salukis kept the back-and-forth scoring alive as sophomore third baseman Courtney Kennedy hit her first career home run, giving SIU a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the second.
SIU-Edwardsville put a lull on the scoring, as they were unable to put a run on the board in the third inning for the first time on the night. Neither team scored again until the fourth inning when SIU-Edwardsville was able to put one on the board.
Freshman pitcher Brittany Lang walked Murphy to load the bases, just before a pitching change to bring in junior Alex Peters. One run would score with Peters in the circle, but she retired two batters to slip out of the inning without the Cougars take the lead. The game heads into the bottom of the fourth tied, 3-3.
The game took a turn in SIU's favor in the bottom of the sixth inning as Duran got things started with a single, then advanced to second on an error by the catcher. Garza was intentionally walked for the second time, bringing Allie Hanson up to the plate. Hanson powered one over the left field fence, for a three-run home run to take the lead, 6-3.
The Cougars answered in the top of the seventh, putting runners on second and third with the tying run at the plate. Danielle Glosson came in to relieve Peters who struck out five batters in 2.2 innings. Glosson walked Murphy to load the bases, but the Salukis retired the next two batters. SIU-Edwardsville would get one run on the board, with the bases still loaded with two outs. Glosson struck out Samantha Stanicek for the last out of the game and for a 6-4 Saluki victory.
SIU improves to 13-6 on the season as SIU-Edwardsville dropped to 9-9. The Salukis will head to Florida this week for a one game series at Stetson on Wednesday, March 10, followed by the South Florida Tournament March 12-14.