Taylor Orsburn extended her scoreless innings pitched streak to 14 before it was broken up in the bottom of the seventh inning of the second game.
March 26, 2014
By John Lock
ST. LOUIS - The Southern Illinois softball team split a doubleheader at Saint Louis on Wednesday afternoon, dropping a 1-0 pitchers duel in the first game before a dominating 9-2 win in the second game. SIU (14-13) stayed above .500 and won for the fourth time in the last five games and ended Saint Louis' (15-12) three-game winning streak with a win in the second game.
Both pitchers were dominant in the circle in game one. SLU's Brianna Lore no-hit the Salukis. Southern got at lease one runner on base in five of the seven innings, including each of the last four, but couldn't bring any of them around to score. SIU had several hard-hit balls, and Jayna Spivey's 12-game on-base streak came to an end when a tough play up the middle was ruled an error, but Lore--the first lefty SIU has faced in 2014--came away with the no-hitter.
"I don't think we struggled because she's a lefty; I think we struggled because she's a good pitcher," head coach Kerri Blaylock said. "She's a two-time A10 Pitcher of the Week. The kid can throw, and she threw well today. We had some hard-hit balls; they just didn't find the holes."
Katie Bertelsen gave up a leadoff single in the first inning and then retired 13 consecutive batters until Lore hit a tailing fly ball down the left field line that Michelle Glenn couldn't handle on the run. She came around to score when a bad hop got past Kelsey Gonzalez in what proved to be the game-winning run.
"Katie threw really well," Blaylock said. "She threw well enough to win. She's thrown that way for four or five games now. She's been working really hard in practice, working on all of her pitches."
The bats for both teams came to life in the second game of the twin bill. Shaye Harre, who entered the game ranked eighth nationally in RBIs per game among freshmen, cleared the bases with a double and gave the Salukis a lead they would not relinquish, all before SIU made its first out of the game.
"I was happy with the way we set the tone early, offensively." Blaylock said. "Meredith hit the ball hard. Taylor (Orsburn) hit well. Kalyn (Harker) got a couple hits, and Shaye (Harre) had the big double in the first."
Saint Louis scored a run in the bottom of both the first and second innings, but Southern's offense struck for two more runs in the second and another two in the fifth to put the game out of reach. Merri Anne Patterson got the first two RBIs of her collegiate career with a two-run single in the fifth. Southern added two more runs in the sixth, and SLU got a run in the bottom of the seventh to round out the scoring.
Kalyn Harker moved to the No. 2 spot in the lineup for the second game and responded with a 3-for-4, 4 RBI performance. Harker was one of five Salukis to record a double in the nightcap.
Taylor Orsburn was phenomenal pitching in relief yet again. Orsburn took over in the second inning and closed out the game without allowing an earned run against her until the bottom of the seventh, snapping a 14-inning scoreless streak for Orsburn.
"Taylor is just gutty," Blaylock said. "She came in there when we needed her to and shut them down."
UP NEXT: The Salukis head to Springfield, Mo., to face Missouri State for a three-game set on March 29-30. SIU has started Valley play 3-2 after sweeping Drake in Carbondale last weekend.