Sophomore third baseman Kelsea Ashton leads the nation in sacrifice hits.
April 5, 2012
By Megan Kramper
CARBONDALE, Ill. - The Southern Illinois softball team hosts its third conference series in a row as it welcomes the Indiana State Sycamores Friday and Saturday. The Salukis will host their annual Strike Out Cancer game this Saturday at noon.
Southern Illinois Salukis (20-9, 7-2 MVC) vs. Indiana State Sycamores (12-20, 0-9 MVC)
Games 30-32 Carbondale, Ill. (Charlotte West Stadium) Strike Out Cancer
Radio: Game Central on SIUSalukis.com with Patrick Erickson (play-by-play) and Bret Behrens (color)
Video: Game Central on SIUSalukis.com
Stats: Gametracker from SIUSalukis.com
The Salukis hold a dominant 66-16 advantage in the series. In the past 11 years, the Salukis are 34-3 and haven't dropped a game to the Sycamores since 2009. In 2011, the Salukis swept the series for the second consecutive year in three high scoring games (16-14, 8-5, 12-7).
Friday: High: 64˚, sunny
Saturday: High 71˚, partly cloudy
ON DECK: INDIANA STATE (12-20, 0-9 MVC)
The Sycamores come into the series having lost 16 of the last 17 and are winless in the MVC. Their lone win in that time was a doubleheader split with IUPUI. ISU has had little consistency under new head coach Shane Bouman as second baseman Shelby Wilson is the only player to have started and played in all 32 games. She boasts a .326 batting average with team-highs in hits (29) and RBI (16). As a team, ISU holds a .242 batting average and .925 fielding percentage. In the circle, the Sycamores are led by Lindsey Beisser who has a 5-12 record and 2.12 ERA in 23 appearances and 110.1 innings pitched. Beisser has thrown 10 complete games with three shutouts and a save. She shares time with Ashli Scott who is 5-8 with a 2.74 ERA in 74.0 innings pitched.
Saturday's single game will mark the annual Strike Out Cancer game at Charlotte West Stadium. The Salukis will wear special pink jerseys and fans will be able to make donations and bid on items for a silent auction with all proceeds benefiting the American Cancer Society Coaches vs. Cancer fund. There will also be strike out cancer T-shirts available for purchase and the American Cancer Society will have an informational booth set up at the stadium.
Thunderstorms postponed the Salukis doubleheader with Saint Louis on Wednesday. The two teams have agreed to reschedule for a week later on Wednesday, April 11 at 3 and 5 p.m.
With depth on the bench all 15 players on the roster have seen significant playing time. Fourteen players have made at least 13 starts.
The Salukis currently lead the Missouri Valley Conference in offense. Their .310 batting average is a league-best and Southern also leads the Valley in slugging percentage (.464), on-base percentage (.420), and walks drawn (133). Mallory Duran-Sellers leads in runs scored (35), Kelsea Ashton posts the top mark in sacrafice bunts (14) and Allie VadeBoncouer leads in hit-by-pitch (14).
1. Northern Iowa (25-9, 9-0)
2. Drake (16-16, 8-1)
3. Southern Illinois (20-9, 7-2)
4. Illinois State (21-15, 6-3)
5. Creighton (17-15, 6-3)
6. Missouri State (16-14, 4-5)
7. Bradley (13-19, 3-6)
8. Evansville (9-22, 2-7)
9. Indiana State (12-20, 0-9)
9. Wichita State (7-26, 0-9)