Softball returns to Florida for Jacksonville University Tournament

    Saluki Softball will travel to Jacksonville, Fla. for a three-day tournament hosted by Jacksonville University.

    Saluki Softball will travel to Jacksonville, Fla. for a three-day tournament hosted by Jacksonville University.
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    Feb. 20, 2014

    Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

    CARBONDALE, Ill.--Saluki Softball will travel to Jacksonville, Fla. for a three-day tournament hosted by Jacksonville University. SIU will meet with Savannah State again before taking on Bethune Cookman, UIC and the host Dolphins.

    Head coach Kerri Blaylock will rejoin the Salukis on Saturday. Last weekend Blaylock remained in southern Illinois to care for her mother who had heart surgery.

    What: Southern Illinois at the JU Wingate by Wyndham Tournament
    Where: JU Softball Complex, Jacksonville, Fla.
    When: Feb 21-23

    Live Stats

    Friday, Feb. 21
    SIU vs. Savannah State, 10:45 a.m. CT
    SIU vs. Bethune Cookman, 1 p.m. CT

    Saturday, Feb. 22
    SIU vs. Bethune Cookman, 12:30 p.m. CT
    SIU vs. Jacksonville, 5 p.m. CT

    Sunday, Feb. 23
    SIU vs. UIC, 8 a.m. CT

    WEEKEND RECAP Last weekend the Salukis finished the UNF Osprey Invitational 2-3. SIU topped Savannah State twice but fell to Troy, Ohio and the reigning A-Sun champions, North Florida.

    SCOUTING BETHUNE COOKMAN The Wildcats are coming off an 18-36 season in which they won the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Bethune-Cookman (1-9) is back in action after competing at the Hatter Invitational in DeLand, Fla., where it picked up its first win of the season against Campbell, 3-2. Calesha Shelley stands out from all other Wildcats as she is hitting .400 after going 12-for-30 at the plate. Sabrina Anguiano holds a 7.62 ERA with 24 earned runs through 28.1 innings with seven appearances and six starts.

    SCOUTING JACKSONVILLE The Dolphins were selected to finish seventh in the Atlantic Sun preseaon poll and currently hold a 5-5 record on the season. JU boasts four returning seniors and eight returnees. Jacksonville is coming off a 2-2 performance at the JU Tournament and a 6-0 loss at No. 1 Florida. At the plate this season, Codi Kelly boasts a .387 average with 12 hits, three runs and four RBI, with Victoria Brown producing a .333 average while going 9-for-27 with three home runs. Brown additionally holds a 2.00 ERA for the Dolphins with a 3-2 record, while Cecile Gomez leads all pitchers with a 1.46 ERA.

    SCOUTING SAVANNAH STATE The Lady Tigers fell one game short of the title game in 2013’s MEAC Championship Tournament and concluded the season with a 26-24 record. Last weekend, SIU topped Savannah State in both their meeting. Currently, SSU holds a record of 3-6.

    SCOUTING UIC UIC will be looking to pick up a win this weekend after dropping five games last weekend at the UCF Holiday Inn Classic. The Flames enter with a 1-9 record. Senior Jacki Fletcher led the Flames on offense, going 7-for-14 at the plate for a .500 batting average, as she continues to hold the best average on the season at .467.

    SENIOR CLASS CANDIDATE Senior second baseman Jayna Spivey has been named a candidate for the Senior CLASS Award, the organization Thursday. Spivey is a 2013 Capital One Academic All-District selection and First-Team Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete who holds a 3.761 cumulative GPA in biological sciences. The Rosiclare, Ill. recorded 44 RBI’s in 2013 to lead the Missouri Valley Conference, which ties for sixth in SIU history. She also led SIU with 12 multi-RBI games and ranked second in the MVC with 11 homeruns, which is tied for seventh in school history.

    SOPHOMORE SLUGGERS The Saluki sophomores stepped up offensively in the first two weekends of play. At the Century Link Classic Taylor Harris and Caylee Cook each recorded their first career homerun’s while Kelsey Gonzalez recorded four hits including two doubles to record three runs. Taylor Harris is hitting .400 on the season with four hits in 10 at-bats, followed by Caylee Cook (.278) and Kelsey Gonzalez (.250).

    PRESEASON POLL Southern Illinois was been picked picked fourth in the 2014 Missouri Valley Conference Preseason Coaches Poll. The Salukis received the coaches’ fourth-place pick with 63 votes while Northern Iowa was picked as this year’s preseason favorite. PRESEASON RECOGNITION Southern was represented on the MVC Preseason All-Conference Team by senior Jayna Spivey and junior Meredith Wilson. Spivey brings an offensive spark to the Salukis as she finished tied for first in RBIs, second in home runs and fourth in two-out RBIs in the Conference. Wilson is a two-time All-MVC Second Team member.

    BLAYLOCK RACKS UP MILESTONES SIU’s game on April 10, 2013 at UT Martin marked SIU head coach Kerri Blaylock’s 750th game as a head coach, all of which were at SIU. Blaylock also picked up her 500th career coaching win on March 21, 2013 with SIU’s doubleheader sweep of Saint Louis. In her 15th season, the Saluki skipper sits at 519-260 overall. She is the second SIU coach and the eighth MVC coach to reach the 500-win milestone. Her career .670 winning percentage is the highest among the MVC’s 500-win coaches.