SIU Takes Three-Game Winning Streak to Saint Louis on Wednesday

    Shaye Harre is slugging .886 over the last 12 games.

    Shaye Harre is slugging .886 over the last 12 games.
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    March 25, 2014

    SIU (13-12, 3-2 MVC) at Saint Louis (14-11, 2-0 A10)
     Dates March 26, 2014
     Times Wednesday, March 26
    Game 1: 2 p.m.
    Game 2: 4 p.m.
     Location St. Louis, Mo. -- Billiken Sports Center (500)
     Live Stats Stat Broadcast
     Live Stream None
     Game Notes Southern Illinois
     Season Stats Southern Illinois | Saint LouisMVC
     All-Time Series SIU leads SLU, 44-2
     Series Streak SIU, W12
     Social Media @SIU_Softball  | @SIU_Softball  | Saluki Athletics 

    Southern Illinois is riding its first three-game winning streak of the season into Wednesday's matchup with Saint Louis. SIU swept Drake last weekend in the team's first three-game sweep of the Bulldogs since 2001. The Salukis are going for their first four- or five-game winning streak since April 17-21, 2012, when SIU won five straight over Evansville, Eastern Illinois, and Drake.

    VS. SLU
    The Salukis have been remarkably dominant in the series with Saint Louis, winning 44 times in 46 chances. Southern has played SLU in two mid-week games in five of the last six seasons, and Southern has swept both games in each of the five doubleheaders. Southern has won 12-straight games in the series, with the last Saint Louis win coming in 2003

    Southern Illinois got its first three-game sweep of Drake since 2001 and controlled all three games from start to finish. Katie Bertelsen started the series with a complete game shutout in SIU's 3-0 win. SIU fell behind for only a half-inning in the second game before storming back to take a 6-3 win. In the finale, Southern again trailed only to immediately storm back in its next at-bat. Southern rattled Drake early and ended up with an 11-3 run-rule win in six innings. Shaye Harre and Jayna Spivey combined to hit .474 in the series with nine RBIs, nine runs and a .565 on-base percentage. Taylor Orsburn pitched 7.1 innings of scoreless relief in two appearances.

    Saint Louis swept Massachusetts 2-1 and 6-4 in the opening doubleheader of its conference season. Lefty pitcher Brianna Lore won both games for the Billikens. SLU managed only two hits in the opening game but drew eight walks and manufactured two runs. Saint Louis got six more walks in the second game of the doubleheader and a go-ahead two-run home run by Lindsay Friedman in the sixth inning to take the 6-4 win. SLU posted a combined .467 on-base percentage in the two wins.

    Saint Louis enters Wednesday's game at 14-11 overall, including a perfect 2-0 mark in the A-10. They're 3-1 at home and have won four of their last five games overall. They have faced two Missouri Valley Conference schools already, dropping a 3-0 decision to current Valley leader Wichita State and run-ruling Missouri State in five innings with an 11-1 win.

    SLU is led by Linsay Friedman, who has piled up seven home runs, three doubles and two triples to go with her .311 batting average. Friedman also has speed on the base paths, stealing 14 of SLU's 20 stolen bases this season. Mackenzie Peter (.365) and Alex Nickel (.348) lead the team in hitting and are the only two hitters to join Friedman with a batting average above .300. SLU's main pitcher is Brianna Lore (10-7, 3.03 ERA), who has appeared in 18 of the team's 25 games, making 16 starts and throwing 15 complete games. Laney Kneib (4-4, 4.09 ERA) has made the team's other nine starts.

    Southern Illinois was picked fourth in the preseason MVC poll, and it plays the other four teams picked in the top half of the league in the first four weekends of MVC play. SIU appears to be playing its best softball in perfect time for the most difficult portion of its schedule. After losing two one-run games to unanimous preseason favorite UNI last weekend, SIU got a three-game sweep of preseason No. 3 Drake this weekend to improve to 3-2 in MVC play.

    Head coach Kerri Blaylock said she has been proud of how her team has been playing since a six-game swing in Florida right before conference play began. In the 11 games since heading to Florida, SIU has posted a .283 team batting average--.014 better than its opponents. Six SIU players have posted batting averages of .296 or better, led by freshman Shaye Harre and senior Jayna Spivey. Hitting in the middle of the lineup, Harre and Spivey have hit .419 and .417, respectively. Harre has posted a .525 on-base percentage, and Spivey has been even better, posting a .533 OBP. Michelle Glenn has hit .345 and gone a perfect 5-for-5 stealing bases, while Kelsey Gonzalez (.333) and Kalyn Harker (.308) have also hit better than .300. Allie VadeBoncouer has hit .296 while posting a .486 OBP after drawing six walks and taking four HBPs in that span.

    Through 13 games, preseason All-MVC selection Jayna Spivey was hitting just .237 and coming off an 0-for-3, three-strikeout performance against Kansas. Since, Spivey has been on a tear, raising her batting average to .329 and reaching base in all 12 games, which is a career high. In the last 11 games, Spivey has hit 15-for-36 (.417). With eight walks in that span, Spivey's OBP is .533 and she has hit four doubles and two home runs while driving in 10 runs.

    Jayna Spivey is just one RBI away from tying SIU's record for career RBIs, which is currently shared by Jamie Schuttek (1994-97) and Alicia Garza (2007-10). Schuttek and Garza each reached 132 career RBIs, and Spivey has 131 after getting four in last weekend's sweep of Drake. Last year, Spivey tied Schuttek's 1997 season for the sixth-most single-season RBIs with 44. Another current Saluki, Allie VadeBoncouer, holds the single-season record with 51 RBIs in 2012, while Taylor Orsburn holds third place on the list with 49 RBIs in 2011. Orsburn isn't far behind Spivey in career RBIs; with 119 career RBIs, Orsburn is tied for eighth on the school's all-time list, and VadeBoncouer (95 career RBIs) is knocking on the door of the top-10.

    The Last Meeting
    Saint Louis3  
    Southern Illinois11(6)
    March 21, 2013
    Carbondale, Ill.
    Blaylock gets 500th win in sweep of Saint Louis
    The Southern Illinois softball team picked up a doubleheader sweep of Saint Louis Thursday at Charlotte West Stadium, giving head coach Kerri Blaylock her 500th career coaching win.

    Jayna Spivey is on the verge of taking SIU's all-time lead in RBIs, but she's also knocking on the door for other top-10 lists. Spivey is six runs away from jumping into the top 10 in career runs scored; she currently has 107 career runs. She is one double away from being top-10 in career doubles; she currently has 29 career doubles. And she's already in fourth place on the school's all-time home run list with 31 career homers. Spivey's next home run will tie Katie Wilson for third place in school history, and she is nine HRs away from the school's all-time lead.


    SIU junior Katie Bertelsen has opened conference play with arguably two of the best outings of her career. Against UNI in the MVC opener, Bertelsen allowed just one earned run in a 10-inning pitchers' duel with three-time All-MVC pitcher Jamie Fisher. The very next weekend, Bertelsen pitched even better, throwing a complete-game shutout to get a 3-0 win in the series opener against Drake. Bertelsen came back the next day and earned her second win of the weekend with a win on Sunday. In MVC play, Bertelsen has a 1.29 ERA over 21.2 innings and allowed hitters only a .239 batting average, despite all three of her appearances coming against two teams picked to finish in the top three of the Valley.

    True freshman Shaye Harre has jumped right in and been one of the best hitters in the conference from the start of her career. Harre's older cousin, Amy, is one of SIU's all-time great pitchers, but Shaye Harre has shown her potential from the batter's box. Harre ranks eighth nationally among freshman in RBIs per game and, along with Jayna Spivey, has led SIU to the No. 24 rank nationally out of 288 schools in doubles per game. Harre leads the team in home runs (3), RBIs (26), slugging percentage (.592) and triples (2), and she's done all that despite hitting just .194 with five RBIs in her first 13 games. In the 12 games since, Harre has hit .429 and slugged .886. She has on OBP of .523, five doubles, a triple, two home runs and 21 RBIs in those 12 games alone.

    SIU has outscored its opponents 137-116 this year, but opponents have outscored the Salukis in three of seven innings. However, Southern has absolutely dominated the middle innings, outscoring opponents a combined 48-14 in the fourth and fifth innings this year. SIU has scored its most runs in the third inning (33 runs), meaning Southern has scored 81 runs in the middle three innings and 56 runs in the outer four innings.

    Senior catcher Allie VadeBoncouer is on fire to start the 2014 campaign. VadeBoncouer has a .304 batting average and an amazing .500 on-base percentage, which ranks second in the conference. She has drawn 15 walks and been hit by pitch seven times so far in 2014, which gives her 62 career HBP's for her career.

    Senior second baseman Jayna Spivey has been named a candidate for the Senior CLASS Award. 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 as the sixth-best season in SIU history. She also led SIU with 12 multi-RBI games and ranked second in the MVC with 11 home runs, which is tied for seventh in school history. Thirty NCAA softball student-athletes who excel both on and off the field were selected as candidates today for the 2014 Senior CLASS Award® in collegiate softball. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition.

    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 525-265 overall. She is the second SIU coach and the eighth MVC coach to reach the 500-win milestone. Her career .665 winning percentage is the highest among the MVC's 500-win coaches.

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