Softball to open 2012 season at KSU Classic

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    Senior Mallory Duran-Sellers
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    Feb. 9, 2012

    By Megan Kramper

    Game Notes

    CARBONDALE, Ill. - The SIU Softball team will kick off the 2012 season Saturday as it takes part in the KSU Classic in Woodstock, Ga.


    The Salukis kick off the 2012 season at the KSU Classic hosted by Kennesaw State University in Woodstock, Ga. The Salukis face Miami (Ohio) in game one of the season on Saturday Feb. 11 at 9:30 a.m. at Twin Creeks Softball Complex.

    Audio: None

    Video: None

    Live Stats: Gametracker (on the Schedule page)

    Weather: Saturday: 44°, mostly cloudy

    Sunday: 47°, mostly sunny

    Tournament Central


    Saturday February 11
    vs. Miami (Ohio) 9:30 a.m.
    vs. Kennesaw State 2:30 p.m.

    Sunday, February 12
    vs. Austin Peay 9:30 a.m.
    vs. Mercer 12 p.m.

    All-time history vs. opponents
    Miami (Ohio): 7-2, last meeting Mar. 8, 2003 in 3-0 win at Florida State Invitational
    Austin Peay: 14-0, last meeting Feb. 14 & 15, 2009 at the Samford Invitational in 8-0, 6-0 wins
    Mercer: 3-0, last meeting Feb. 20, 2010 at Phyllis Rafter Memorial in a 3-1 win
    Kennesaw State: 1-0, last meeting Feb. 20, 2010 at Phyllis Rafter Memorial in a 4-0 win

    The RedHawks finished the 2011 season with a 32-22 record and a second place finish in the MAC regular season. Miami (Ohio) returns 14 lettermen from a team and was selected to finish first in the MAC East Division preseason poll. Leading the way for the RedHawks is senior pitcher Jessica Simpson; the defending MAC Pitcher of the Year is 70-43 with a 1.78 ERA and 663 strikeouts for her career. Top hitters sophomore outfielder Kirstie Fehrenbach, who held a .340 batting average (49 hits and seven RBI) and sophomore catcher Allie Larrabee who held a .315 batting average (41 hits, three triples, and 18 RBI) also return. Miami (Ohio) is coached by Kelly Kovach Schoenly in her fifth season with the RedHawks.




    The Lady Govs were picked to finish 10th in the OVC after going 12-40 a season ago. However, they return their top three hitters in sophomore P/UT Lauren de Castro (.255 batting average, seven doubles, three home runs, 16 RBI), senior outfielder Catie Cozart (.255 batting average, five doubles, three home runs, 14 RBI), and catcher Amy Mills (.243 batting average, four doubles, three home runs, 16 RBI). Austin Peay went 7-23 in conference action.


    Led by first year head coach Joe DeFeo, the Bears were picked to finish seventh in the Atlantic Sun preseason poll. Senior shortstop Sarah Stukes, a preseason all-conference selection, will lead Mercer as she held a .302 batting average with 10 doubles, seven home runs, and 37 RBI last season. Sophomore outfielder Mackenzie Woody also helps lead the Bears’ attack as she held a team high .333 batting average and 13 RBI. The Bears went 32-24 overall and 10-10 in A-Sun action in 2011.

    The host Owls return a solid core from their 2011 campaign including all position starters from a team that finished 27-28 overall and 10-10 in the Atlantic Sun. Junior outfielder Sara Stikes (.324 b/avg., 16 RBI) and junior infielder Sharon Swanson (.358 b/avg., 14 HR, 49 RBI) are back to anchor the squad. The Owls were picked to finish fifth in the A-Sun preseason poll.

    The Dawgs are picked to finish where they left off last season as they came in third in the annual preseason poll released on Jan. 25. Illinois State takes top honors followed by Northern Iowa for the top three spots. The Salukis finished third in the MVC in 2011 with a 17-6 mark in league play. Mallory Duran-Sellers, Taylor Orsburn, and Jayna Spivey also earned preseason All-Conference honors. 

    2012 MVC Preseason Poll

    Place School (First Place Votes) Points
    1 Illinois State (7)    96
    2.      Northern Iowa (2)                 87
    3.         Southern Illinois (1)                 81
    4.   Missouri State                        66
    5.         Creighton                              64
    6.      Drake                                54
    7.        Bradley                              31
    8.         Wichita State                         30
    9.       Evansville                             21
    10. Indiana State


    Senior Mallory Duran-Sellers leads a group of solid hitters for the Salukis, who return their top five bats from 2011. Duran-Sellers led the team last year with a .398 batting average while Taylor Orsburn (.345), Morgan Barchan (.333), Haley Gorman (.292), and Jayna Spivey (.287) all return for another season. All five played in at least 51 games last season. The Salukis led the MVC in team batting average (.320) and second overall (.284) while finishing first in on-base percentage (.401) and walks (75) and second in hits (197) and RBI (119).

    With the loss of Alex Peters and Danielle Glosson, the Salukis pitching staff will get a fresh look in 2012. Between the three pitchers on the Salukis’ roster - junior Brittney Lang. freshman Katie Bertelsen and Alyssa Wunderlich - they have just 51.1 innings of experience in Division I softball, all of which belong to Lang.

    Six new faces join the Dawgs for their freshman seasons in 2012. Katie Bertelsen (Alexis, Ill.) and Alyssa Wunderlich (Naperville, Ill.) will see time in the circle and be key contributors. In the infield, SIU adds Mackenzie Leding (Springfield, Tenn.) and Kara Kimball (St. Louis, Mo.), while Kalyn Harker (Lebanon, Ind.) and Meredith Wilson add depth to the Salukis’ outfield.

    Head coach Kerri Blaylock announced that seniors Mallory Duran-Sellers, Haley Gorman, and Alicia Junker will act as captains for the 2012 season. Duran-Sellers is in her third year as a team captain, while this marks the first season for Gorman and Junker.

    In typical fashion, the Salukis will begin the 2012 campaign in their first three weekends on the road. Road tournaments include the KSU Classic in Georgia, the Jacksonville State Invite in Alabama, and the Citrus Classic in Florida. The Dawgs open play at home when they host the Coach B Classic Mar 3-4 and then finish their tournament schedule in Honolulu, Hawaii at the Malinihi Kipa Aloha Tournament Mar 9-11.