Softball wins battle with SEMO, 7-6

    Freshman pitcher Alyssa Wunderlich improved to 11-2 as she picked up the win over SEMO Wednesday.

    Freshman pitcher Alyssa Wunderlich improved to 11-2 as she picked up the win over SEMO Wednesday.
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    April 25, 2012

    Box Score

    By Megan Kramper

    CARBONDALE, Ill. - Southeast Missouri State didn't make it easy for the rebounding Southern Illinois softball team as the Dawgs narrowly escaped with a 7-6 win at Charlotte West Stadium Wednesday.

    The Salukis (31-14) were looking to shake off a two-game losing streak in non-conference action between the two regional rivals. They exchanged runs throughout the game, with four lead changes in total, as a four-run fifth inning by SIU proved to be the deciding factor despite being out-hit 10-5.

    "I think that was a really good win for us and offensively we did what we needed to do," SIU head coach Kerri Blaylock said.

    The scoring started off with SEMO (22-26) scoring two runs in the top of the third. Evan Sallis hit a leadoff triple and Cheyenne Gipson singled to put the Redhawks on the board followed by a Renee Kurtz single to put them up 2-0.

    SIU retaliated in the bottom of the inning with three runs of its own. The inning started with Morgan Barchan drawing the 195th walk of the season to help SIU set a single-season program record for most walks drawn. They beat the previous record of 194 set in 2004 and 2005.

    Michelle Bradley continued the inning by reaching base on a Redhawk error. Mallory Duran-Sellers cleared the bases with a two-run double followed by Kelsea Ashton drawing a walk.

    Taylor Orsburn stepped to the plate to bring home Ashton and Duran-Sellers, who broke Southern's single-season record for runs scored in the play. Duran-Sellers now stands at 55 runs scored in 2012, besting her own previous record of 54 set last season.



    Both teams went scoreless in the fourth paving way for an exciting fifth inning, where the two teams combined for seven runs. SEMO scored three on a three-run home run by Taylor Cowen to take the lead.

    But resilience was the theme for the day, as Ashton and Orsburn drew back-to-back walks to start the bottom of the fifth, paving the way for Allie VadeBoncouer's two-run double. VadeBoncouer now has 48 RBI on the season and is three shy of tying SIU's single-season record for RBI.

    Haley Gorman reached base on a single followed by a big at-bat for Meredith Wilson, who hit her ninth double on the season to regain the lead, 7-5.

    SEMO threatened in the sixth with a run scoring off a wild pitch but Katie Bertelsen entered to calm things down as she picked up her fourth save.

    Starter Brittney Lang issued the three-run home run in the fifth and was replaced by Alyssa Wunderlich, who earned the win moving her to 11-2 overall.

    "I don't think Brittney pitched bad at all and it was a bad pitch call to throw (Taylor Cowan) the changeup and she hit it well, but Bertie came in and shut the door," Blaylock said.

    The Salukis had just five hits but drew six walks on the afternoon helping them to create opportunities at the plate. VadeBoncouer and Wilson both finished the game with two RBI apiece.

    They will try and keep the momentum alive as they host league-leading Northern Iowa for a battle of second and first place in the Missouri Valley Conference Saturday and Sunday at Charlotte West Stadium. The series will also mark the final home games for seniors Duran-Sellers, Gorman, and Alicia Junker.