Salukis split doubleheader with Creighton

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    April 20, 2013

    By Bill Ford

    OMAHA, Neb. -- The Southern Illinois softball team split a doubleheader with Creighton Saturday afternoon at the CU Sports Complex.

    The Salukis (20-23, 8-9 MVC) dropped a 6-5 heartbreaker in eight innings in the opener before rebounding for a 6-1 win over the Bluejays (25-12, 11-3 MVC) in Game 2.

    "You've got to give the kids a lot of credit for sticking in there, hitting the ball hard and coming up with a huge win in the second game," said SIU head coach Kerri Blaylock.

    Game 1
    Creighton 6, SIU 5 (8 innings)
    Game 1 Box Score

    The two teams went through seven scoreless innings before the Bluejays got the better end of an 11-run eighth inning for the walkoff win.

    The majority of a game was a pitcher's duel between SIU starter Brittney Lang and Creighton's Becca Changstrom. Lang struck out a career-best 13 batters while allowing just three hits with no walks through the first seven innings while Changstrom had a no-hitter broken up in the sixth, allowing just one hit with 11 strikeouts and two walks through the first seven.

    Southern got back-to-back singles from Kelsey Gonzalez and Morgan Barchan with one out in the top of the eighth before Jayna Spivey hit her 11th home run of the season to give the Salukis a 3-0 lead. Taylor Orsburn and Allie VadeBoncouer followed with back-to-back doubles to score another run and Meredith Wilson drove in VadeBoncouer to put the Salukis up 5-0.

    SIU retired Creighton's first batter in the bottom of the eighth before the next two Bluejays got on board with a single and a walk. Creighton pinch hitter Blake Ringle cleared the bases with a home run to cut the margin to 5-3 and the next three Bluejays singled to load the bases. Alexis Cantu drew a walk to drive in one run and Ellen Homan hit a walkoff 2-run single to lift the home team to the win.

    Lang (10-12) suffered the tough-luck loss despite pitching one of the finest games of her career. Her final line was six runs allowed, all earned, on nine hits with 13 strikeouts and two walks in 7.2 innings.

    "Except for one inning, Brittney threw by far the best game she has all season," Blaylock said. "I thought she got careful. She wanted to throw strikes and get out of the game instead of sticking with her plan."

    SIU picked up seven hits in the game as no Saluki players recorded multiple hits.

    Game 2
    SIU 6, Creighton 1
    Game 2 Box Score

    A five-run fifth inning and strong pitching performances from Alyssa Wunderlich and Katie Bertelsen powered SIU to a Game 2 win.

    "I give Alyssa Wunderlich credit for coming in and settling us down right away," Blaylock said. "I wanted to score a lot earlier than we did in the second game, but Bertie came in and just did a great job."

    The two teams went scoreless through the first four innings before the Salukis exploded for five runs on six hits in the fifth. Jayna Spivey, Taylor Orsburn and Allie VadeBoncouer all picked up RBIs while Meredith Wilson drove in two runs.

    The Bluejays picked up one run on a bases loaded walk in the bottom of the fifth before Bertelsen coaxed the final two outs of the inning to strand three Bluejays. Southern added an insurance run on a sac fly by Spivey in the top of the sixth, and Bertelsen kept Creighton off the board for the final two innings to pick up her second save of the season.

    Wunderlich (7-9) picked up the win after allowing one run on three hits with five strikeouts and three walks in 4.1 innings. Bertelsen allowed no runs on two hits with two walks and two strikeouts in 2.2 innings.

    Wilson went 3-for-4 with two RBI to lead the Saluki offense while Morgan Barchan went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and Kalyn Harker went 2-for-4 with a run scored.

    The two teams will play the rubber match at noon Sunday.