March 17, 2010
By Beth Miller
CARBONDALE, Ill. - The Salukis kicked off Missouri Valley Conference play Wednesday, as they swept Evansville in a doubleheader to begin the season 2-0 in the MVC. SIU improved to 16-9 overall following its two wins, stretching their winning streak to three games.
Danielle Glosson earned the first win of the day for SIU, pitching her second complete game shutout of the season. The junior struck out 10 batters to tie her season high, allowing only two hits for a near perfect game. Glosson also allowed no walks for the third time this season.
The second game between the conference rivals proved to be a little more difficult as they were tied going into the bottom of the seventh inning. However, a bases-loaded situation would be exactly what SIU needed to edge the Purple Aces, 2-1. Glosson earned the win in the second game as well, coming into the game for Alex Peters, who is averaging only one run allowed in her eight appearances. Glosson improved to 8-6 on the season following her sweep over Evansville.
"Danielle has been pitching very well," head coach Kerri Blaylock said. "Her last five appearances, starting and relieving, have been wonderful. She's thrown very well. Alex has been very consistent as well, only allowing an average of one run each game."
Game 1 - Southern Illinois 8, Evansville 0 (6)
The Salukis earned their fifth run-ruled victory of the season with an 8-0 win over Evansville, ending the game in six innings.
Following a scoreless first inning, SIU put five runs on the board in the second inning, well on its way to an 8-0 victory. Natalee Weissinger doubled, advancing to third on a single from Katie Wilson, who advanced to second on the throw. Catcher Cristina Trapani hit a sac fly to center field, earning her eighth RBI of the season as Weissinger scored for a 1-0 lead. Wilson then scored from second off an RBI single from Corinna Gonzalez for the 2-0 lead. Morgan Barchan stepped up to the plate, hitting her first career home run as she drove in three runs for a comfortable 5-0 lead early in the game.
Barchan would earn her fourth RBI of the game in the bottom of the fourth with a double to center field, allowing Gonzalez to score for SIU's sixth run of the day. Allie Hanson homered in the fifth inning, giving SIU a 7-0 lead, one run away from ending the game early.
The Salukis got the extra run they were looking for in the bottom of the sixth inning as an RBI single from Alicia Garza drove a run for the 8-0 lead to end the game at six innings.
Barchan went a perfect 4-for-4 from the plate, tallying two runs, four RBI and one homerun to help SIU run-rule Evansville in its first conference game of the season.
Game Two - Southern Illinois 2, Evansville 1
Southern Illinois decided to get things started in the second inning as Katie Wilson hit her fifth homerun of the season, giving SIU a 1-0 lead.
Evansville would not answer until the sixth inning, as a single RBI up the middle from Allison Aguilera drove in the Purple Ace's only run of the day. The run would tie the game at 1-1.
Still tied in the bottom of the seventh inning, Barchan walked to load the bases with two outs. The pressure was on as Chelsea Held stepped up to the plate with the chance to drive in the winning run. An infield hit straight to third baseman Ashleigh Rahming looked to be the third out to take the game into extra innings. But Rahming's throw to first would be short as Held crossed the plate, allowing her to reach and drive in the winning run for a final score of 2-1.
"I told her [Held] to put the ball in play and make them make a mistake," Blaylock said. "The pressure was on them and that's how we figured we would be successful. She did a great job - she put it down and used her speed."
Evansville moves to 5-11 overall, 0-2 in Valley play, while SIU improves to 16-9 overall, 2-0 in the conference. SIU is now hitting .276 on the season, and pacing several Valley leader boards. Garza stole her 11th stolen base of the season today, marking a career high for the senior second baseman. She is now a perfect 11-for-11 in stolen bases, and leading the MVC. Evansville was picked at the bottom of the Valley in the pre-season poll, while SIU was picked to finish second in the league. Blaylock admits the competition in the MVC is tough, and no game can be taken lightly.
"Every conference game is going to be a dog fight, it doesn't matter who you're playing," Blaylock said. "Those kids came out and fought."
SIU will host Iowa State tomorrow at 3 p.m. before heading to Missouri State to continue conference play. The games against MSU that were originally scheduled for Saturday and Sunday have been changed. The Salukis will now face the Bears Friday in a doubleheader beginning at 5 p.m., followed by a third game on Saturday at noon.