April 23, 2009
April 23, 2009
By Kyle Herm
CARBONDALE, Ill. - The Southern Illinois softball team (28-11, 10-6) was upended by Evansville (12-28, 3-14) 8-2 on a warm and overcast Thursday afternoon at Charlotte West Stadium.
The Salukis went through all three members of their regularly lights-out pitching staff in the worst conference loss of the season.
Evansville scored three runs in the third to take a 3-1 lead, and went up 7-1 with four runs in the fifth that put the Purple Aces in the driver's seat for the win.
"We have to learn that it's okay if teams score runs against us," said a disappointed head coach Kerri Blaylock. "We've got to be able to play 5 or 6 run ballgames without going in the tank. You can't constantly have a shutout or one-run game."
The Aces recorded 10 hits, including two home runs, to tie the most hits allowed by SIU in a conference game this season.
"They hit the ball hard and we can't get eight hits and only get two runs out of it," Blaylock said. "It was a flat game and very disappointing today."
Southern started strong with a run in the opening inning on a sacrifice fly to right field by senior Katie Wagner, but from that point on the offense was only able to scatter hits without putting anything together against UE starter Kylie Wagner.
Evansville quickly responded with three runs in the top of the third to take the lead that they never relinquished.
A leadoff walk by Krista Price, followed by the second double of the game by Jennifer Stahlhut put runners on second and third with one out for Wagner.
On a 2-0 pitch Wagner gave herself the lead with a three-run home run off the scoreboard in right field to give UE a 3-1 advantage.
Nikki Waters replaced McNamara and cruised until Evansville broke open the tight game in the fifth.
Still in the fifth, Evansville loaded the bases with no outs to knock Waters out of the game for the Salukis' third pitcher Danielle Glosson.
Glosson gave up a sacrifice fly to score another run, and Maggie Little hit a two-run single to left field to end the scoring.
Evansville added one more run in the top of the seventh.
With a runner on second base, Gorman went back to make a catch on a soft liner in shallow left field, but the ball popped out of her glove to allow the eighth run to score.
SIU loaded the based in the bottom of the seventh, and scored again on a sacrifice fly to right by Mallory Duran to cut into the deficit 8-2.
Wagner closed out the game though for her sixth win, and handed SIU its third league loss in less than a week.
McNamara took the loss in 2 1/3 innings pitched to fall to 9-3 this season.
Southern will look to rebound this weekend in a three-game series at home against Bradley. The series opens Saturday with a noon doubleheader on Senior Day, and concludes on Sunday with a single-game at 12 p.m.