Junior outfielder Morgan Barchan hit a three-run home run in game one
April 21, 2012
By Megan Kramper
DES MOINES, Iowa - After narrowly escaping with a game one win, the Southern Illinois softball team pounded out 13 hits in game two to sweep Saturday's doubleheader with Drake at Ron Buel Field.
The teams exchanged runs off home runs in game one, except for the game-winning run that scored off a wild pitch in the sixth inning as SIU won 6-5.
Drake (19-24, 10-9 MVC) took an early lead with a two-run home run in the bottom of the first from Torey Craddock. Southern's Morgan Barchan answered with a three-run bomb of her own to help take the lead.
The Salukis (30-12, 14-4 MVC) added two more off another long ball by Haley Gorman in the top of the third. Southern looked to be cruising through the final innings until Drake's leading hitter, freshman third baseman Hayley Nybo, sailed a three-run shot over the fence to tie the game in the sixth.
"I expected Drake to come out hitting the ball and I knew that we needed to maintain some kind of level of consistency on offense," SIU head coach Kerri Blaylock said.
Kelsea Ashton drew a two-out walk to keep things going when Drake's Rebekah Schmidt threw a wild pitch to allow Harker to score from third.
The offense exploded in game two with 13 hits to run-rule the Bulldogs 13-0 in five innings.
The Bulldogs' defense allowed the Salukis to get things going early as Duran-Sellers led off the game reaching first on an error. Ashton and Gorman chipped in RBI singles as the Dawgs frustrated Drake's starter Jordan Gronewald, who was relieved in the first by Schmidt, after Allie VadeBoncouer and Jayna Spivey were both hit by pitches.
Alicia Junker added another RBI single in the first to give the Dawgs an early 3-0 lead. and SIU piled on 10 more runs to close out the game.
Brittney Lang threw her third shutout of the season as she allowed just five hits and struck out two moving her to 9-4 overall and 6-1 in Valley play.
"I was really pleased with the way we battled today and I thought we also had three good pitching performances as well," Blaylock said.
The Salukis scored a run in every inning except the fifth including five in the third and sent every batter to the plate in the first and fourth.
Junker and Ashton had 3-for-4 performances while Gorman and Duran-Sellers each added two hits highlighting the Salukis' offense.
Blaylock said while she hopes the wins boost the Salukis' confidence on the field, the team is still taking a "one game at a time" approach heading into the final weeks of the conference race.
"I told them tomorrow I think we need to come out ready to play again one day at a time don't get too caught up in anything because it's hard to win on the road," Blaylock said.
With a UNI doubleheader sweep of Missouri State, the Salukis still remain in second place in the MVC standings heading into tomorrow.
The Salukis and Bulldogs meet for the series finale tomorrow with a first pitch at noon.
The Salukis drew a combined 15 walks on the afternoon, moving their season total to 190. They need four more to tie and five to break the school-record for walks drawn of 194 that was set in 2004 & 2005.
Mallory Duran-Sellers scored her 54th run in game two, tying her single-season record from 2011. She is also four shy of tying the career record for runs scored set by Colleen Holloway from 1990-93.