Senior shortstop Haley Gorman went 3-for-6 with two RBI against the Braves Saturday.
May 5, 2012
By Megan Kramper
PEORIA, Ill. - The Southern Illinois softball team didn't show up in its final regular season doubleheader as it dropped Saturday games to the Bradley Braves at Laura Bradley Park.
The Salukis (33-19, 15-10 MVC) attempted a rally in the sixth inning of game one, but fell short in a 6-4 loss. They were then shut out in game two 4-0, the first shutout issued to the Salukis by the Braves since 1999.
The best hitting team in the Missouri Valley Conference combined for just eight hits in two games and went scoreless in 12 of the 14 innings of the doubleheader. The game two 4-0 win was also the first time the Braves had won by more than two runs since 1989.
"You've got to give credit to Bradley for coming out and playing the way that they did," SIU head coach Kerri Blaylock said. "I thought that we were tight offensively and couldn't string any good at-bats together and I thought Bradley attacked and we didn't respond very well."
In game one, Braves pitcher Madeline Lynch-Crumrine pitched a no-hitter through four innings behind solid hitting from her team as they out-hit SIU 10-5. Meredith Wilson's two-out double broke up the no-hitter in the fifth but it wasn't enough momentum to help the struggling Salukis, who have dropped six of their last nine.
The Braves (21-28, 11-14 MVC) jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the third inning as Lynch-Crumrine's double scored three runs off Saluki starter Katie Bertelsen.
The Dawgs narrowed the margin in the fifth, with the Wilson RBI double cut the lead to 3-1. However, the Braves added two more in the bottom of the fifth as they extended the lead to 5-1.
Taylor Orsburn drove in another run in the inning, cutting the lead to 5-4. The Braves came back in the bottom of the sixth to add a run, which was all they needed for the victory.
Bertelsen picked up the loss despite striking out four early on in the game, moving her to 11-11 on the season and 3-7 in conference action.
Game two proved to be just as destructive for SIU as they were shut out by the Braves for the first time since 1999 and totaled 12 scoreless innings on the day.
"I don't think we managed our at-bats like we wanted to, I think we tried to win the ball game on one swing instead of trying to string things together," Blaylock said.
Things didn't get any better in game two, as Bradley took Brittney Lang for a run in every inning but two and out-hit the Salukis again 6-3.
Lang struck out three but issued two walks and gave up all four earned runs in the contest as she fell to 10-6 overall and 6-2 in MVC play.
The Salukis gave pitcher Mackenzie Camp a no-hitter through five innings when Jayna Spivey hit a single.
Gorman and Kelsea Ashton were the only other Salukis to have hits in game two. Gorman had the best performance for the Salukis on the day, going 3-for-6 with two RBI.
The Salukis can now only finish as high as third in the MVC regular season standings, with Illinois State clinching the No. 2 seed and first-round bye with a split at Northern Iowa.
SIU and Bradley meet to close the regular season with a single game Sunday at noon.