Softball holds off Bradley for 4-3 win on Senior Day

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    April 27, 2013

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    By Bill Ford

    CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Southern Illinois softball team held off a seventh-inning rally by Bradley for a 4-3 Senior Day win over the Braves Saturday at Charlotte West Stadium.

    SIU took a 4-1 lead into the seventh inning before the Braves scored twice and loaded the bases with one out on reliever Alyssa Wunderlich. Wunderlich worked out of the jam, however, recording the final two outs to pick up her first save of the season.

    "We kind of got ourselves in a mess again," said SIU head coach Kerri Blaylock. "I brought Alyssa in and I thought she did a good job kind of working around (Alyson) Clemente, who could have been the one to hurt us. Then, she was able to go to work on the next two kids."

    Rainy conditions in Carbondale forced the two teams to shorten what was supposed to be a doubleheader into a single game. The Salukis (22-24, 10-10 MVC) and the Braves (22-24, 7-12 MVC) will play a doubleheader starting at noon Sunday to make up for it.

    The wet field conditions proved to be a factor in the game as the two teams committed a combined six errors. SIU tied a season-high with four errors, but limited the damage by allowing just one unearned run.

    The Salukis jumped out to an early lead as senior Morgan Barchan led off with a double and came around to score on a double by junior Taylor Orsburn in the first inning.

    The Salukis took advantage of some Braves errors in the second inning, scoring two unearned runs to extend the advantage to 3-0. Meredith Wilson reached on an error and her pinch runner Kara Kimball eventually came around to score on a wild pitch. Barchan later hit a two-out RBI single to score Kelsey Gonzalez.

    The Braves got on board with an unearned run in the top of the fifth inning, but SIU answered with a run in the bottom of the inning as senior Michelle Bradley was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. SIU had the bases loaded with no outs following the score, but couldn't push any more runs across in the fifth.

    After a scoreless sixth inning, the Braves started the seventh off with three consecutive hits to push one run across before SIU removed starter Brittney Lang in favor of Wunderlich. Wunderlich gave up a fourth-consecutive BU hit to allow a second run to score before retiring three of the next four batters she faced to help SIU survive.

    Lang (12-14) picked up the win after allowing two earned runs on six hits with six strikeouts and one walk in 6.0 innings. Wunderlich struck out two and allowed one walk and one hit in the final inning.

    "I thought Brittney threw a great game," Blaylock said. "We made some defensive mistakes that got her in trouble and probably made her throw more pitches than she should have had to."

    Barchan led the SIU offense, going 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored while Jayna Spivey added a pair of hits and Taylor Orsburn had an RBI and a run scored. Orsburn stretched her hit streak to nine games and her on-base streak to 18 games.

    "(Barchan) started us off right in the first inning, and she had a big RBI later with a slap," Blaylock said. "She is so consistent for us, and offensively doing a great job."