SIU Offense Dominates in Doubleheader Sweep of Evansville

    Taylor Orsburn's five RBIs gave her 132 for her career, tied for second in school history behind only teammate Jayna Spivey.

    Taylor Orsburn's five RBIs gave her 132 for her career, tied for second in school history behind only teammate Jayna Spivey.
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    April 16, 2014

    By John Lock

    G1 Box | G2 Box

    CARBONDALE, Ill. - The Southern Illinois softball team was dominant on offense in a doubleheader sweep of Evansville on Wednesday evening. SIU won the first game 9-4 before run-ruling the Aces (16-25, 4-12 MVC) 12-4 in game two. All nine spots in SIU's batting order reached base in both games, and the Salukis pushed their win streak to a season-high four games.

    "Our kids have a really good good eye at the plate and did a really good job of getting their pitch to hit," head coach Kerri Blaylock said. "Offensively, we were really strong, but what I've noticed the last two games at Bradley and these two games was our energy. If we have energy in the dugout, we have energy on the field."

    The Salukis (21-19, 9-7 MVC) drew 17 walks--11 of which came in the second game alone--and posted an incredible .548 team on-base percentage over the two games. The squad hit .400 as a team, and the production came from every angle. The hardest part of the day might be for anyone to pick a player of the day.

    Was it Shaye Harre, who reached base in all nine plate appearances (one by error) and went 5-for-6? Was it Jayna Spivey, who drew five walks and hit a home run? Was it Taylor Orsburn, who hit her second grand slam of the season? Perhaps it Kelsey Gonzalez, who had four RBIs and two more sacrifice flies to her season total of four, which ties her for third in the NCAA this year. Or Allie VadeBoncouer, who hit a three-run homer to start the rout.



    "The middle of our lineup is hard to get around, moving (Gonzalez) up to the 5-hole, they're just hard to get around," Blaylock said. "If you don't want to pitch to Jayna, uh-oh, Shaye (Harre is up), uh-oh, Gonzo, uh-oh, Taylor Orsburn. We're stacked up there in the middle."

    Southern's offense made sure neither game was close. Six players had multi-RBI days. Three Salukis hit home runs, and eight players drew at least one walk. Taylor Orsburn's five-RBI day gave her 132 in her career--which is tied for second in school history behind only teammate Jayna Spivey, who broke the record earlier this year. Not only was Orsburn spectacular from the plate, she pitched a complete game in the night cap and got the win to improve to 4-2 this year.

    The Salukis actually had early deficits in each game. Southern trailed 2-0 in the first game before exploding for four runs in the bottom half of the third. Game one starter Katie Bertelsen made sure Evansville never truly threatened again, holding the Aces without a hit from that point until the last inning, when Southern had tacked on five insurance runs to take a 9-2 lead into the seventh.

    In the second game, Evansville struck for three runs in the top of the second before Southern scored six runs on just two hits in the bottom half. Without ace Megan Gurski, who pitched the first game, and game two starter Annie Moore, who had to leave after being struck in the face by a line drive in the first inning, Evansville simply couldn't throw a strike. Southern is a bad team to have control problems against--the Salukis already led the MVC in walks by 15 even before drawing 17 more today.

    All four game in SIU's winning streak have been conference games, moving Southern's conference record from 5-7 to 9-7, all the way up to fourth in the conference."

    "I'm a big believer in one at a time," Blaylock said. "I know where people are in the standings, but, to me, that doesn't mean anything because a lot of them have had big wins."

    NEXT UP: The Salukis have a big three-game series with Loyola this Friday and Saturday at Charlotte West Stadium. The teams play a doubleheader on Friday, starting at 3 p.m., and a series finale on Saturday at Noon.