Southern Drops Pair to Missouri State

    Jayna Spivey became SIU's career RBI leader with her two-run double in the seventh inning of the first game.

    Jayna Spivey became SIU's career RBI leader with her two-run double in the seventh inning of the first game.
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    March 29, 2014

    By John Lock

    Game 1 Box | Game 2 Box

    SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - The Southern Illinois softball team (14-15, 3-4 MVC) dropped a pair of games at Missouri State (20-11, 3-2 MVC) on Saturday afternoon. The Salukis almost constantly had runners on base, but they left 10 runners on base in each game and only came away with four combined runs. SIU lost the first game 3-2 and the second game 7-2.

    Southern Illinois had at least one baserunner in 12 of the 14 innings and left a total of 12 runners in scoring position on base. With runners in scoring position, the Salukis hit just 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position in the first game and were 2-for-9 in the second game with runners in scoring position.

    "I'm really disappointed in us offensively and defensively," head coach Kerri Blaylock said. "I thought (Katie Bertelsen) threw well enough to win; I thought Shaye (Harre) threw well enough early to win. I just didn't feel like our offense was locked in. I have to give credit to Missouri State because they came to play."

    Jayna Spivey came through with one of the few clutch hits, a two-run double that tied the first game in the top of the seventh. The two RBIs made Spivey Southern Illinois' all-time RBI leader with 133.

    "Jayna has been an outstanding player for us, and she deserves it," Blaylock said. "She doesn't know the two kids whose record she just broke, but they were phenomenal players, so I was happy and proud for her."

    The Salukis found themselves in an early hole when Missouri State got runs in each of its first two innings. A two-out walk in the first inning was followed by a single. MSU enticed a rundown between first and second in its first-and-third situation and SIU allowed the runner to score.



    An inning later, a one-out error came around to score after back-to-back singles. With two on and one out, the Salukis prevented further damage when Allie VadeBoncouer caught a base-stealer at third base, and Kelsey Gonzalez made a diving play and throw to end the inning.

    Missouri State got a great outing from freshman Erin Struemph, who was the MVC Newcomer of the Week last week. Struemph, who entered the game with a 1.88 ERA, only allowed three hits in the first six innings before Southern started its rally.

    Michelle Glenn bunted and reached on a fielding error. After Taylor Orsburn flied out, Kalyn Harker singled. Jayna Spivey hit a game-tying two-run double off the center-field wall. The two RBIs gave Spivey SIU's career RBI record with 133.

    Southern had two one with one out after VadeBoncouer walked behind Spivey, but Southern stranded both runners to keep the game tied at two and set up Missouri State's walkoff win.

    After four-straight scoreless innings from the third through sixth innings, Missouri State got a one-out double from Ashley Brentz in the bottom of the seventh. After a perfect bunt single, Chelsea Jones reached well outside the zone and got a bunt down while Brentz was charging home for the winning run. Southern played the bunt well and had a play at the plate, but Brentz beat the tag.

    "I was proud of Jayna to come back and get that double," Blaylock said. "But we can't score just one or two runs. We need to score more than that, and we didn't do a good job."

    SIU starter Katie Bertelsen pitched around 11 hits and only allowed two earned runs or fewer for the fourth time in her last five outings. Bertelsen took the loss, her third loss in that five-game stretch despite a 1.44 ERA over that time.

    In game two, it was the Salukis that jumped out to the 2-0 lead and the Bears that charged back. Southern left runners on base in each of the first three innings before coming through with two runs in the fourth.

    Shaye Harre pitched her best game since March 11, but the Lady Bears got to her in the bottom of the fifth for three runs to give the Bears a 3-2 lead. The Bears kept the momentum going with four more runs in the sixth inning, aided by a trio of defensive miscues that included a dropped fly ball. The Salukis went quietly in the top of the seventh, and the Bears had their second win of the day.

    "Shaye had had a couple rocky starts (before today), but she threw very well," Blaylock said. "We made dumb baserunning mistakes that ran us out of innings and then didn't field the ball cleanly several times, and it got us way behind."