Seventh-inning rally falls short as Softball falls to Illinois

    Sophomore frst baseman Taylor Orsburn had a hit and RBI in Wednesday's loss to Illinois.

    Sophomore frst baseman Taylor Orsburn had a hit and RBI in Wednesday's loss to Illinois.
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    May 2, 2012

    Box Score

    By Megan Kramper

    URBANA, Ill. - The Southern Illinois softball team attempted a seventh-inning rally, but couldn't pull through in the end as it dropped a 3-2 decision to Illinois Wednesday at Eichelberger Field.

    The Salukis (33-17) made it interesting the top of the final frame down 3-1 with two outs. Big Ten pitcher of the week Pepper Gay issued two walks to Morgan Barchan and Kelsea Ashton with Taylor Orsburn stepping to the plate.

    Orsburn drove in a run off an RBI double cutting the lead to one but Allie VadeBoncouer lined out to the second baseman to end the game.

    "I really felt like we played pretty decent today," SIU head coach Kerri Blaylock said "I thought we battled back really hard and had the tying and winning run on and I felt we could have won the game no doubt."

    Illinois (24-23) continued its momentum from the weekend, coming off a three-game series at No. 22 Michigan and extended its win streak over the Salukis to five games.

    SIU took an early lead in the top of the third on back-to-back doubles from Mallory Duran-Sellers and Kelsea Ashton, who had one of the two Salukis RBI in the game.

    The Illini tied the game on a wild pitch from Saluki starter Brittney Lang in the bottom of the third while returning in the next inning to score two runs as the Salukis began the inning with an error.



    Illinois followed up with two hits to score two unearned runs that made a difference in the game.

    Lang moved to 10-5 overall with the loss as she struck out two in three and two thirds innings of work. Katie Bertelsen entered in relief in the fourth inning and also issued two strikeouts.

    Jayna Spivey led the Saluki offense by going 2-for-2 with a walk as SIU out-hit the Illini 6-3 but left eight runners stranded on base. Blaylock said Spivey has been seeing the ball well in the past few games but the inability to string hits together was the biggest downfall for the Dawgs.

    "Jayna was locked in and had good at-bats today and the thing we probably did wrong was taking to many 2-0 or 2-1 count pitches that were very good pitches down the middle and we let Pepper (Gay) to get back in a groove," Blaylock said.

    Meredith Wilson also added a hit and the Salukis drew four walks, all issued in the final two innings.

    The Salukis wrap up the regular season with a three-game Missouri Valley Conference at Bradley Saturday and Sunday.

    "We need to learn a few things from this and hopefully if we do I think their understanding of what we need to do to string some things together but they want to keep going and to keep playing," Blaylock said.