May 18, 2007
By Matt Maxey
CARBONDALE, Ill. - No. 24 Southern Illinois University softball team fell 8-0 to No. 18 Missouri University in five innings Friday afternoon at Charlotte West Stadium in first round action of the 2007 NCAA Softball Carbondale Regional.
Southern Illinois will now face Southwest Atlantic Conference champion Mississippi Valley State in the first elimination game of the regional Saturday at 5 p.m. Mississippi Valley State fell to DePaul 10-0 in six innings in the day's first game.
After being no-hit by Southern Illinois' Cassidy Scoggins earlier in the year, Missouri answered this time out with three hits in the first inning, including a Micaela Minner double that bounced off the top of the centerfield wall and coming only inches from being a home run.
The Tigers used those three hits to score three runs in the first and knock Scoggins out of the game before three outs could be recorded.
Ashley Hamby came on in relief for Scoggins and stopped the bleeding in the first inning. The Missouri bats stayed hot in the second inning though as they collected an additional run off a Sarah Stringer single that scored Leanne Bowers from third. That put the Tigers up 4-0 after only two innings.
Southern Illinois got its first hit of the game in the fourth inning when Becky Wegmann singled up the middle. The Salukis were unable to take advantage though. Their best opportunity to score came in the fifth inning when Katie Wilson led off with a single to the shortstop after beating the throw to first. After a Katie Wagner walk, Katie Schmidt advanced the runners to second and third with a sacrifice bunt. Again the Salukis could not find the timely hit they needed as the next two batters grounded out to second to end inning.
"As a group we aren't going to forget this game. You can't let this one game hold you back; we have so much ability and more tournament to play. We can't base everything on this one game," said SIU's Ashley Hamby.
Bruck picked up the win for the Tigers, pushing her record to 21-9 on the year. She scattered two hits over five innings while posting two strike outs. Scoggins took the loss for Southern Illinois, dropping to 21-10 on the year. She gave up three hits and three runs in only 0.2 innings of work. Hamby tossed four innings, striking out five while giving up seven hits.
"We are playing with more confidence now than we did during the first game we played Southern Illinois. We had good defense today and we swung at the right pitches, which made a difference for us," said Missouri head coach Ehren Earlewine.
Missouri will now take that confidence into its next game against No. 14 DePaul in the first game tomorrow. First pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m.
Fans can follow all the action in the NCAA Carbondale Regional live by going to the regional tournament Web site.
From the Tournament Central, fans can follow the game on GameTracker, listen to free live broadcasts of all games and even watch free video Webcasts on Salukivision.com.