Salukis fall to SIUE 6-4 in 12 innings

    Sophomore pitcher Alyssa Wunderlich.

    Sophomore pitcher Alyssa Wunderlich.
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    April 2, 2013

    Final Stats

    By Bill Ford

    CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Southern Illinois softball team rallied from a seventh-inning deficit to force extra innings, but SIU Edwardsville came up with a 12th-inning home run to top the Salukis 6-4 Tuesday night.

    "We battled all game, and the kids gave great energy and had a great approach," said SIU head coach Kerri Blaylock. "The only reason we lost that game is because we had a couple of kids not come through in a two-out situation, and they had one that did."

    SIUE (23-8) got on the board first with an unearned run in the second inning, but the Salukis (14-17) tied the game at 1-1 with a solo home run by Jayna Spivey to lead off the fourth inning.

    The Cougars bounced back to touch Saluki starter Brittney Lang for three runs on four hits in the fifth, and SIU brought sophomore Alyssa Wunderlich out of the bullpen.

    "Brittney didn't throw bad," said SIU head coach Kerri Blaylock. "I might have left her in one batter too long."

    Southern cut the deficit to 4-2 with an RBI single by Spivey in the sixth inning before the Salukis took advantage of some SIUE errors to tie the game in the seventh inning.

    With two outs and a runner on first, senior Morgan Barchan singled and both Saluki runners advanced on a throwing error by the SIUE pitcher. Taylor Orsburn followed with a drive to left field that the Cougar left fielder dropped, allowing pinch runner Michelle Glenn and Barchan to score, knotting the game at 4-4.



    The two teams went through four scoreless extra frames before SIUE's Brittany Toney touched Wunderlich for a two-run home run in the 12th. The Salukis brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the inning, but couldn't get a clutch hit.

    "It's probably just the wrong people coming up at the time when we have some runners on," Blaylock said. "We just couldn't string it together in those moments."

    After replacing Lang, Wunderlich (5-8) shut the Cougars out over the next 6.2 innings and allowed just four hits with one walk and a career-best eight strikeouts. The sophomore suffered yet another tough-luck loss, however, after giving up the game winning homer.

    "I thought (Wunderlich) came in and did a great job," Blaylock said. "She knows she is throwing better. She has a positive attitude."

    Spivey went 3-for-6 with two RBI to lead the Saluki offense while Barchan also picked up three hits and scored two runs. Southern finished with nine hits against SIUE starter Hayley Chambers (13-2), who struck out 13 in a complete game.

    "Edwardsville is 23-8 for a reason," Blaylock said. "That kid can throw. She's good. We went toe-to-toe with them and had a chance to beat them."

    SIU looks to bounce back from the loss against another Ohio Valley Conference school as the Salukis travel to Eastern Illinois Thursday.