Freshman outfielder Meredith Wilson is hitting .433 with five doubles and one home run.
March 2, 2012
By Megan Kramper
CARBONDALE, Ill. - The Southern Illinois softball team will open its home schedule Saturday and Sunday as it hosts the Coach B Classic at Charlotte West Stadium.
Games 12-15 Carbondale, Ill. (Charlotte West Stadium)
Radio: Sunday games only. Patrick Erickson and Bret Behrens (vs. Northern Illinois), Johnny Sole (vs. SIUE) will have the call on Game Central on SIUSalukis.com (pay)
Video: All games on Game Central on SIUSalukis.com (pay)
Stats: Gametracker from SIUSalukis.com
ABOUT THE COACH B CLASSIC
This is the 26th time the Salukis have hosted the Coach B Classic named in honor of longtime former head coach Kay Brechtelsbauer. Brechtelsbauer coached the Salukis from the team's origination in 1968 until 1999, amassing a 633-438-2 record during that time period.
SALUKIS AT THE COACH B CLASSIC
3/3 Western Illinois 12 p.m.
3/3 Wright State 4 p.m.
3/4 Northern Illinois 1 p.m.
3/4 SIUE 5 p.m.
RECAPPING LAST WEEKEND
The Salukis went 2-3 in action at the Citrus Classic at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla. The Salukis dropped the first three games of the tournament to Maryland, Wisconsin, and No. 25 Florida State. They wrapped up play with a 10-2 six inning run-rule of Marshall and a 4-3 victory over St. John's.
COACH B CLASSIC QUICK HITS
All-time history vs. opponents
Western Illinois: SIU trails 24-39. Last meeting on Mar. 6, 2010 at the Coach B Classic in a 2-1 loss.
Wright State: SIU leads 4-0. Last meeting on Mar. 6, 2011 at the Coach B Classic in a 2-1 win.
Northern Illinois: SIU trails 15-19. Last meeting on Mar. 5, 2006 at the Coach B Classic in a 5-2 win.
SIUE: SIU leads 34-6. Last meeting on Apr. 19, 2011 in a 10-1 five inning run-rule win for the Salukis at Charlotte West Stadium.
SCOUTING WESTERN ILLINOIS (4-9)
The Leathernecks come into the weekend having lost their last five of six games, including going 1-3 at the Blues City Classic last weekend in Memphis, Tenn. WIU is already familiar with MVC opponents, as they have played against three already this season (Drake, Northern Iowa, Missouri State). They are led at the plate by Sammy Marshall who holds a .426 batting average with 20 hits, one RBI, and is a perfect 18-for-18 in stolen bases. In the circle, the pitching staff holds a 2.62 ERA with Kelsey Michelini and Haley Bickford splitting the duties. Michelini holds a 3-3 record with a 2.85 ERA while Bickford is 1-5 with a 2.28 ERA.
SCOUTING WRIGHT STATE (6-6)
The Raiders bring an even record in the tournament after going 2-1 at the Charleston Southern Tournament with wins over UMBC and Charleston Southern and a loss to Hampton. They are led by Kacie Raphus (.333 batting average, four doubles, six RBI) and Kristi Boreing (.308 batting average, two doubles, a triple, two RBI). The pitching staff is led by reigning Horizon League Pitcher of the Week Krystian DeWitt who pick up all wins and the loss last weekend. DeWitt currently holds a 3.28 ERA with a 4-5 record in 48.0 innings pitched.
SCOUTING NORTHERN ILLINOIS (3-5)
The Huskies are hoping to rebound after a rough outing at the North Texas Invitational last weekend where they went 0-3 with two losses to Creighton and a loss to North Texas. Stephanie Tofft anchors the offense with a .481 batting average with two doubles, two home runs, eight RBI, 21 total bases and a .778 slugging percentage. In the circle, freshman pitcher Megan Dortch leads the way as she holds 3-3 records with a 3.33 ERA in 33.2 innings pitched. Tofft and Dortch combined for MAC Player and Pitcher of the Week honors for the week of Feb. 13, when the Huskies went 3-2 at the Southeastern Louisiana Tournament. As a team, NIU is holding a .307 batting average and the pitching staff holds a 4.54 ERA.
SCOUTING SIUE (5-8)
The Cougars are also looking for a much-needed win this weekend after going 0-5 at the Eaton Bama Bash hosted by the University of Alabama. The Cougars dropped all five games in the tournament, including an 8-0 five inning game to No. 2 Alabama to conclude play. They also dropped two games each to North Dakota State and East Carolina. They currently have five hitters hitting .300 or better led by senior outfielder Lindsey Barron with a .367 average, one double, and four RBI. Pitchers Amanda Lambretch and Lindsey Coleman share the load. Lambretch holds a 3.16 ERA with a 2-3 record while Coleman tallies a 5.57 ERA and a 3-3 record.
CHARLOTTE WEST STADIUM TO SERVE AS DROP-OFF FOR HARRISBURG RELIEF ITEMS
Saluki Athletics will be collecting donations for Harrisburg residents this Saturday in conjunction with the Coach B Classic at Charlotte West Stadium. All fans and community members are welcome to drop off items needed including bottled water, cleaning supplies, hygiene products and non-perishable food items. Items will be donated to the First Baptist Church in Harrisburg, which is acting as a relief center for those in need.
WILSON CONTINUES STREAK
Freshman outfielder Meredith Wilson (Granite City, Ill.) has been a dominant force at the plate for the Salukis in her rookie campaign. Wilson has appeared in every game for the Salukis this season, starting at designated player or right field. She safely hit in all games at the Citrus Classic and has hit in eight of the 11 games this season. Wilson holds a second-best batting average on the team with a .433 with five doubles, one home run, and 13 RBI.
Not only has the Salukis' offense been able to consistently hit the ball, they are also able to wait for the right pitch. The Salukis currently have drawn 58 walks on the season including Allie VadeBoncouer drawing a team-high 10 walks in just 11 games.
IMPROVEMENTS ON DEFENSE
One of the biggest improvements for the Salukis this season has been on defense. Last year, the team held an overall .955 fielding percentage. At this point last season, the Salukis already had 14 errors in 11 games. This season, the Salukis have cut that number down to nine and improved their defensive fielding percentage to .970.
ASHTON HEATS UP
Sophomore Kelsea Ashton is making a name for herself for the Salukis. Not only has she started every game at third base for the Salukis this season, Ashton holds a .300 batting average, which is fourth-best on the team, a staggering improvement from a season ago when she didn't even have a hit. She launched her first career home run against Jacksonville State in a four-run seventh inning helping the Salukis to a 10-9 win. Overall, Ashton is 9-for-30 with two doubles, home run, 14 RBI, 11 runs scored, 14 total bases, and a .467 slugging percentage.
WUNDERLICH SHOWS IMPROVEMENT
Alyssa Wunderlich picked up both Saluki wins over the weekend as the Salukis at the Citrus Classic. Wunderlich shined in her third career start and longest appearance of the season against Marshall, as she allowed just two runs in the Salukis 10-2 six-inning run-rule win. The Naperville, Ill. native held a 3.00 ERA and appeared in 11.2 innings while striking out five for the Salukis over the weekend.