No. 19 Softball splits Saturday's doubleheader with Drake

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    March 14, 2009

    By Kyle Herm

    CARBONDALE, Ill. - The No. 19 Saluki softball team (16-4) lost 3-0 and won 2-1 to split Saturday's doubleheader against Drake (13-9) at Charlotte West Stadium.

    Hits and runs were hard to come by for either team in the first two league games of the season.

    Southern's pitching staff held the Drake hitters to only five hits in the two games, however the Bulldog hurlers followed suit by only giving up five base-knocks to the Salukis.

    "I think one through 10 the Valley is a very competitive and good conference and you have to be ready to go every game," said head coach Kerri Blaylock. "I told the team nothing is going to be easy and you have to be able to fight and compete."

    In the first game, SIU was unable to string together hits off reigning MVC Newcomer of the Year Brynne Dordel, who earned her eighth win of the year with 10 strikeouts.

    The Salukis fought back though with two runs in the bottom of the fifth for a comeback win in game two.

    "It was a battle all day long," Blaylock said. "You have to make adjustments though and I thought we did a better job creating in the second game, but I was a little disappointed with our offense in the first game."

    Sophomore starting pitcher Danielle Glosson and senior reliever Katie McNamara combined for a one-hitter in the opening loss, and sophomore Nikki Waters tossed a complete-game four hitter to pick up her sixth win in game two.

    "Nikki did a great job and we needed her to," Blaylock said. "We needed her to step up and hit her spots and she really settled in nicely after giving up the early run."



    The Salukis will look to win the series in the final game on Sunday at 12 p.m. at Charlotte West Stadium.

    Game one - Drake 3 #19 Southern Illinois 0
    Glosson and McNamara combined for a one-hitter with 11 strikeouts, but walks and a two-run home run doomed the Salukis in the series opener.

    Drake broke a scoreless game in the top of the third after Elena Leon scored from third base on Glosson's second wild pitch of the inning to take a 1-0 lead.

    The Bulldogs added to their lead in the fifth on a two-run home run to center field by Leon.

    It was Leon's sixth home run of the season, which moved her into a tie for first in the Valley.

    McNamara entered the game in the fifth and immediately stymied the Bulldogs with six strikeouts in the final 2 2/3 innings pitched.

    SIU had a scoring chance in the fourth and sixth innings, but in both instances Dordel brought the rally attempts to an abrupt end with her sixth and ninth strikeouts of the game.

    Freshman Haley Gorman and senior Katie Wagner picked up singles, and junior Alicia Garza had her fourth double of the season for the three Saluki hits.

    Game Two - #19 Southern Illinois 2 Drake 1
    Southern Illinois trailed 1-0, but plated two runs on a Drake outfield error in the bottom of the fifth for a come-from-behind win in game two, 2-1.

    Drake scored quickly with a leadoff double by Leon, and RBI single to right field by Bridget Shields to go up 1-0 in the top of the first.

    Waters buckled down though and only allowed two hits over to course of the final six innings to keep the Bulldog offense at bay.

    Southern's offense though was held equally quite by Drake starter Jenna DeLong until the fifth.

    Sophomore Chelsea Held led off the bottom of the fifth with her second hit of the game. Junior Katie Wilson walked, and senior Katie Schmidt reached on a fielder's choice to load the bases for senior Jayme Wamsley.

    Wamsley followed with a towering fly to left field that looked to be caught, however Erin Bly and centerfielder Kelsey Kahler collided to allow Held and Wilson to score for the tying and eventual game-winning runs.

    DeLong escaped though without any more damage to keep it a one-run game.

    Waters had to work around one last scare in the top of the seventh after DeLong singled and stole second with one out in the seventh.

    With the tying run on second, the Hixson, Tenn. native calmly fanned Erin Mollohan and got Carrie Hatfield to ground out though to end the game and secure SIU's first conference win of the season.

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