Sophomore second baseman Jayna Spivey hit her sixth home run of the season in game two
April 28, 2012
By Megan Kramper
CARBONDALE, Ill. - League-leading Northern Iowa looked to spoil senior day for the Southern Illinois softball team with a game one win, but those plans were foiled when the Dawgs' offense sparked a game two win for a Missouri Valley Conference doubleheader split Saturday at Charlotte West Stadium.
Katie Bertelsen pitched a gem in game one, striking out a season-high nine batters. Bertelsen gave up two costly hits to UNI's Melissa Walls, however, as the Salukis dropped a 2-0 decision.
"Bertie threw a great game and real bright spot for me because her pitches were working," SIU head coach Kerri Blaylock said "It has been something we've worked on all year telling her that she's not going to get hit hard if she's hitting her spots, so I was really pleased."
Walls launched a solo home run in the third inning to break the scoreless game going between Bertelsen and Panthers' ace Jamie Fisher. Walls also connected for an RBI double in the seventh inning. The Salukis mustered only one hit in the contest, a single from Jayna Spivey.
Bertelsen moved to 11-9 overall on the season and 3-4 in MVC play as she bested her previous season-high in strikeouts by four.
The offense showed up in game two for the Salukis (32-15, 15-7 MVC), as they scored seven runs off five hits and capitalized off a Panther error for a 7-1 victory.
The Panthers (36-14, 19-3 MVC) threatened early with a run in the top of the second off starter Brittney Lang. Alyssa Wunderlich entered to calm things down as she worked five and two thirds innings of scoreless relief for the win. She moved to 12-2 overall and 6-1 in Valley play.
The Dawgs answered back in the bottom of the second with three runs as Allie VadeBoncouer got things started with a hit-by-pitch. VadeBoncouer was hit twice in the ball game and has now been hit by 25 pitches this season.
Meredith Wilson followed with a one-out RBI single and Spivey kept the inning going as she reached on a throwing error by pitcher Jaye Hutcheson. A wild pitch by Hutcheson a batter later put another run across for SIU giving it a 3-1 advantage after two innings.
"I thought we did a really good job of starting to adjust and being able to pick the pitches that we need to swing at," Blaylock said.
Haley Gorman added a run in the fifth, scoring VadeBoncouer from third on a groundout. Spivey launched her sixth home run of the season to start the sixth, as the Dawgs padded its lead with three more runs in the inning.
Duran-Sellers chipped in with an RBI double and came around to score on a wild pitch. She now has 156 runs scored in her career, putting her three shy of the SIU career record.
On the season, Duran-Sellers has 56 runs scored and is four shy of breaking the MVC single-season record of 60 set by Kate Madden of Missouri State in 1996.
The Salukis and Panthers will battle it out in the rubber match Sunday with first pitch slated for noon at Charlotte West Stadium.
"We don't have anything to lose (Sunday)," Blaylock said. "My message to the kids was let's not only come out and be ready to play for tomorrow but let's be getting prepared for a little bit further down the year."
SIU has won every MVC series this season and Blaylock is using the Saturday's deciding game as a preparation for the crucial portion of the schedule, the conference tournament in two weeks.
"I said to them `Let's show something so people have to start thinking about us when they come back here (for the MVC tournament) in a few weeks,'" Blaylock said.