SIU vs. UE: Notes and Links

    Kelsea Ashton is hitting .379 in MVC play this year.

    Kelsea Ashton is hitting .379 in MVC play this year.
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    April 15, 2014

    SIU (19-19, 7-7 MVC) vs. Evansville (16-23, 4-10 MVC)
     Date April 16, 2014
     Times Game 1: 3 p.m.
    Game 2: 5 p.m.
     Location Carbondale, Ill. -- Charlotte West Stadium (500)
     Promotion Dollar Dawg Nite -- $1 hot dog with the purchase of a fountain drink
     Live Stats
     Live Stream Saluki All-Access: Game 1 | Game 2
     Live Audio Saluki All-Access: Game 1 | Game 2
     Game Notes Southern Illinois | Evansville | MVC
     Season Stats Southern Illinois | EvansvilleMVC
     All-Time Series SIU leads, 55-21
     Series Streak SIU W1
     Social Media @SIU_Softball   |  @SIU_Softball   |  Saluki Softball 

    The Last Meeting
    Southern Illinois4
    April 23, 2013
    Carbondale, Ill.
    Salukis hold off Evansville 4-3
    Michelle Bradley's first-inning grand slam proved all the offense the Southern Illinois softball team needed as the Salukis held off a late Evansville rally for a 4-3 win over the Purple Aces Tuesday night at Charlotte West Stadium.

    Southern Illinois starts a five-game MVC home stand with a doubleheader against Evansville starting at 3 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon at Charlotte West Stadium. The Salukis start their only midweek conference series with the doubleheader; the series finale will take place at Evansville next Tuesday at 4 p.m. The Salukis are 5-5 at Charlotte West Stadium this year.

    The Salukis had the upper hand in the series with Evansville, winning 55 times in 76 meetings between the schools, but Evansville has won three of the last four overall in the series. Evansville swept a doubleheader from the Salukis last year at Evansville before falling in the series finale in Carbondale. Before Evansville's three wins in the last four meetings, SIU dominated the series in the previous years, winning 20 of 25 contests between 2004 and 2012. Evansville has not won a game in Carbondale since April 23, 2009.

    Did you know?
    Katie Bertelsen has 12 career saves, which ranks her sixth in the NCAA among active players.

    Southern Illinois has played around .500 softball for the whole season, never more than two games above or two games below .500 all season. Southern hasn't won or lost more than three-straight games all season. Coming off two wins against Bradley, SIU is going for its second three-game winning streak of the season and first since sweeping Drake in a three-game series in SIU's second MVC series of the year. With two wins on Wednesday, SIU can post its first four-game winning streak of the season and go two games above .500 in MVC play for the first time this year.

    Evansville is in a slump over the last couple weeks, dropping seven of its last eight games. Its only win in that time was a win in the series opener against Drake on April 12. The Purple Aces have played eight of their last 11 games at home, and they have a three-game road losing streak. UE's last road win came in the series finale against preseason favorite UNI. Evansville also got a win at Belmont, but outside of those two wins, UE is 0-6 in true road games this season.

    Evansville has a 16-23 overall record and a 4-10 record in Missouri Valley Conference play. The Aces were the preseason No. 9 pick in the MVC and are currently tied for ninth in the conference with Indiana State, who was the preseason No. 10 pick in the conference.

    Evansville is led at the plate by Megan Gurski, who has started all 39 games and has posted a .370 batting average. Preseason All-MVC selection Kayla Fortner has a .294 average, but only five Evansville batters have season averages over .237. Gurski is also the staff's ace, posting an 8-11 record and 3.55 ERA over her 24 appearances and 116.1 innings. Evansville also has three pitcher who have pitched between 30 and 40 innings, combining for an 8-6 record.

    The Salukis will host Dollar Dawg afternoon at the ballpark. Fans can get a $1 hot dog with the purchase of a fountain soda.

    Third baseman Kelsea Ashton has just a .114 in non-conference games, but she has been one of SIU's best hitters in MVC play. In comparison to her .114/.159/.220 avg./slg./obp line in non-conference play, Ashton is putting up .379/.483/.471 numbers in SIU's 14 conference games. She's posted the team's second-best batting average in MVC play, and 11 of her 16 hits this season have come in Southern's 14 conference games.

    Kelsey Gonzalez has been Southern's hottest hitter over the past few weeks, raising her season batting average to .330, which is second on the team. Gonzalez is currently riding a team-best five-game hitting streak, and she has eight multi-hit games, which is second on the team. Gonzalez has hit safely in 16 of the last 22 games and reached base in 19 of those 22 games, raising her batting average nearly 70 points from .262 to .330. In that 22-game stretch, Gonzalez has a team-best .382 batting average to go along with a .446 on-base percentage and .509 slugging percentage.

    SIU senior Allie VadeBoncouer has reached base in 21-straight games for the Salukis, the longest mark on the team this season. It's the longest for SIU since teammate Taylor Orsburn reached base in 26-straight games overlapping the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Orsburn reached base in the final 23 games of 2013 before reaching base in the first three games of this season. VadeBoncouer has posted a .514 on-base percentage in that 21-game swing, raising her OBP to .500 on the season, which ranks second in the MVC.

    Through 14 games, SIU senior Jayna Spivey is dominating in MVC play. She's hitting .468 (22-for-47) with great slugging (.766) and on-base percentage (.554) numbers. Her average could potentially still be above .500 in MVC play if she had not been robbed of three hits by diving plays by opposing outfielders. Sixteen of her 30 RBIs this season have come in the 14 conference games, and she's committed just one error in conference play. She's totaled six doubles, a triple, two home runs, seven runs scored and 33 total bases. The senior has broken SIU's career RBI record and ranks eighth in MVC history in career RBIs, just five away from breaking into the top-five in conference history.

    SIU junior Katie Bertelsen has emerged as the staff ace. In her first seven appearances after MVC play started, Bertelsen had a 1.83 ERA and threw six complete games in her seven starts. She threw a complete-game shutout in the series opener against Drake and allowed more than two earned runs only twice. She went pitch-for-pitch with 2012 MVC Pitcher of the Year Jamie Fisher of UNI in a 10-inning 2-1 loss and backed it up by only allowing six earned runs over her next 24 innings (2.14 ERA).

    Bertelsen has posted just a 3.50 ERA in MVC play and thrown six complete games. She's recorded the W in five of SIU's seven conference wins. Although she's SIU's starter, she's also recorded three saves this year. With 12 saves now in her career, Bertelsen ranks sixth in the NCAA in career saves among active players.

    SIU senior Allie VadeBoncouer ranks second the Missouri Valley Conference in on-base percentage at .500. VadeBoncouer is hitting .267 this year and has just half as many hits (20) as SIU's leader Jayna Spivey (40). In fact, VadeBoncouer has walked (22) more times than she's gotten a hit (20), and she's added 13 hit-by-pitches on top of that. All told, VadeBoncouer's .500 OBP this late in the season puts her in the hunt for a second career .500 on-base percentage season after posting a .505 OBP as a sophomore in 2012. All told, VadeBoncouer has an amazing career OBP of .452 in more than 550 career plate appearances.

    SIU senior Allie VadeBoncouer has been hit by 13 pitches this year. That marks the 68 times in her career that VadeBoncouer has been hit by a pitch, second in NCAA history. VadeBoncouer passed Auburn's Myesha Finney (2006-09) for sole possession of second place on the NCAA's all-time HBP list by wearing one against Eastern Illinois on Wednesday. VadeBoncouer probably will have to settle for second on the list; the NCAA's career leader, Mariah Gearhart of Okahoma State (2008-11) blows away the field with an amazing 92 career HBPs.

    Jayna Spivey's name is already plastered all over the MVC and SIU record books, and she's again threatening to add her name on another record. Spivey has hit 14 doubles, which leads the conference and ranks 19th nationally. That's already tied for third in a single season in school history and just one away from tying teammate Taylor Orsburn's 2013 campaign for the all-time SIU lead. With four more doubles, Spivey will jump into the top-10 in MVC history in single-season doubles.

    Lineup Quick Notes
     1 Merri Anne Patterson Started last 3 MVC games @ BU ... Threw out tying run at home to beat BU in G2 ... 2R HR @ BU in G3
     2 Allie VadeBoncouer 2nd in MVC w/ .500 OBP ... Current 21-game reached-base streak ... 2nd in NCAA history w/ 68 career HBP (13 in 2014)
     3 Jayna Spivey .341 BA ... .388 BA in last 25 games ... SIU career RBI leader and 8th in MVC history (141) ... t3rd in SIU HRs (32)
     4 Kelsea Ashton .379 BA in MVC play; .114 avg in non-con Gs ... Played in all 38 games, starting 35 at 3b
     5 Lacey Newbold Has played in 30 games, primarily as a pinch runner ... 6-for-7 in stolen bases ... Scored 14 runs
     6 Jessa Thomas Played in 8 games and started 7 ... Has not committed an error ... Looking for her first career hit (5 ABs so far)
     7 Kelsey Gonzalez 2nd on team with .330 BA ... Reached base in 19 of last 22 G ... 4 Sac Flys (11th nationally) ... 5G hit streak ... .382 avg last 22G
     10 Caylee Cook Played in 30 games, starting 17 ... Has hit 2 HR and 3 doubles ... .417 success advancing runners
     11 Michelle Glenn .280 average and .404 OBP ... Team-best 12-12 SB ... Started 29 games and played in 34 ... 14-14 career SB
     12 Kalyn Harker .293 avg. ... .385 avg. w/ RISP ... 11-12 SB ... 31 career SB ... Only 1 career error (168 PO) ... In 1-11 slump
     17 Kara Kimball Played in 30 games, primarily as a pinch runner ... 2-2 SB ... Scored 11 runs
     20 Taylor Orsburn .246 avg ... Also has 2.83 ERA ... 5th in SIU history in 2B (38) & 10th in HRs (19) ... Hit grand slam vs. Murray St.
     24 Alyssa Wunderlich 3-4 record ... 5.41 ERA ... 33.2 IP ... 19 SO ... Went 4.2 IP scoreless 3/8 vs. St. Joseph's
     25 Shaye Harre .347 avg & 28 RBIs in last 25 games ... 17th in nation among freshmen in RBIs/gm (33) ... .714 avg. w/runner on 3rd & LT 2 outs
     27 Katie Bertelsen 1.83 ERA in 7app. (6CG) from 3/15-4/1 ... CG SHO vs. DU ... Tm-best 10 Ws ... 6th in NCAA career SV among active plyrs (12)
     28 Taylor Harris Played in 26 games and started 11 ... In a 1-20 slump ... Singled and scored in G3 vs. Drake ... 3-11 as pinch hitter
     33 Meredith Wilson Preseason All-MVC ... Broke out of 1-11 slump with 2B at SLU (9-29 since) ... Hit in 6 of last 9G ... 11 2-out RBIs
     40 Brook Womack Has played in 18 games, starting 5 ... Has scored 4 R and has 1 RBI
      Team 16-3 with 6+ runs; 3-16 with 0-5 runs ... .332 team BA in wins; .199 BA in losses ... Outscored opp. 34-13 in 4th inn.
     HC Kerri Blaylock Coached her 800th career game--all at SIU--on March 30 @ Missouri St. ... Highest Win% among MVC 500-win coaches

    Another Southern Illinois senior, Taylor Orsburn, is also among SIU's all-time RBI hitters. Orsburn hit a grand slam to center field that started SIU's 9-1 romp over Murray State and a go-ahead two-run homer that helped beat Bradley in the series finale. She has 127 RBIs for her career, which places her fifth on SIU's all-time list, two away from tying for fourth.

    Orsburn and Spivey are both knocking on the door of SIU's top-10 career list in hits. Orsburn has 186 career hits and Spivey has 180. Orsburn is tied for 10th in school history in hits, and Spivey is six hits away from joining her as one of SIU's top-10 hit producers in school history.

    With Spivey, Orsburn, and Harre batting in the heart of the order, Southern has one of the nation's best lineups for producing doubles. SIU ranks No. 34 nationally in doubles per game, led by Spivey, who ranks 19th.

    SIU senior first baseman Taylor Orsburn, pitching for the first time in her SIU career, had a 1.95 ERA in her first 32.1 innings this year. In that span, she allowed hitters just a .242 average against her. To start MVC play, she was even better, posting an 1.21 ERA in her first 17.1 innings, which spanned five appearances. Hitters managed only a .215 average over that time. Orsburn had a 15-inning scoreless streak heading into the seventh inning of SIU's 9-3 win at SLU before giving up an earned run in the blowout. After a rough stretch, Orsburn was back to her dominant ways with 2.2 scoreless innings on Wednesday against EIU and a solid weekend at Bradley to lower her season ERA to 2.83.

    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 17th nationally among freshman in RBIs per game as of the last NCAA stat report last Monday and, along with Jayna Spivey, has led SIU to the No. 34 rank nationally out of 288 schools in doubles per game. Harre leads the team in home runs (4), RBIs (33) and triples (2), and she's done all that despite hitting just .194 with five RBIs in her first 13 games.

    Through 13 games, two key cogs in the middle of the SIU lineup were struggling. Senior Jayna Spivey was hitting just .237 and freshman Shaye Harre was hitting .194. In the 25 games since, both players have been playing at an All-MVC level. Spivey is hitting .388 and has raised her average all the way to .341 for the season. She's posted an OBP of .475 and a slugging percentage of .647. She has 11 doubles, a triple, three home runs and 22 RBIs in that 25-game span alone. Harre has been nearly as good. She has hit .347 with a .461 OBP and .653 slugging percentage. She's hit eight doubles, a triple and four home runs in addition to her 28 RBIs in that span.

    SIU's series finale at Missouri State marked her 800th career game, all of which have come 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, she is the second SIU coach and the eighth MVC coach to reach the 500-win milestone. Her career .661 winning percentage is the highest among the MVC's 500-win coaches.

    SIU has gone 6-1 on Sunday this year since the first weekend of the season, including a perfect 4-0 mark in MVC play. Eleven different Salukis are hitting better than .300 on Sundays, and five players are hitting .400 or better. As a team, the Salukis have a remarkable .356 average on Sundays, nearly 100 points better than opponents have managed off SIU's staff on Sundays (.265).

    Southern Illinois gave its lineup a major shake-up in its midweek game against Murray State. For the first time in 25 games, Taylor Orsburn did not hit leadoff for the Salukis. Instead, Orsburn was moved down to the No. 5 hole. Kalyn Harker, who had hit .381 in the six games prior to the Murray State game, took over the leadoff duties, and both players played great in their new roles. Harker went 3-for-4 with two runs and 3 RBIs in the leadoff role, and Taylor Orsburn hit a grand slam to bust the game open in the third inning. Orsburn again made the move look smart with a two-run go-ahead homer to give SIU a lead over Bradley it would not relinquish in the series finale.

    SIU senior Jayna Spivey broke the school record for career RBIs on a game-tying two-run double in the top of the seventh inning in the first game against Missouri State on Saturday. The record was shared by Jamie Schuttek (1994-97) and Alicia Garza (2007-10). Schuttek and Garza each reached 132 career RBIs, and Spivey now has 141 total, which is good for eighth in MVC history.

    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 single-season list with 49 RBIs in 2011. Orsburn isn't far behind Spivey in career RBIs; with 124 career RBIs, Orsburn is fifth on the school's all-time list, and VadeBoncouer (97 career RBIs) is knocking on the door of the top-10.

    Southern led the MVC in drawing free bases last season with a combined 259 free bases via walks and hit-by-pitches. The Salukis ranked second behind Illinois State for the MVC's lead in bases on balls with 201, and the Salukis' 58 free bases on hit by pitches was the league leader by 19.

    This year, the Salukis have continued the trend. Southern leads the conference in walks by 21, ranks second in on-base percentage and ranks third in hit-by-pitches. As a result, the Salukis are second in the conference in runs scored and rank in the top-three in the MVC in nearly every offensive category.

    Senior second baseman Jayna Spivey was named a candidate for the Senior CLASS Award. Spivey was 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 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 softball has a new Facebook fan page at Fans who like the page will get links to follow games, promotions, and photos from the season.

    The official Twitter of Saluki softball is @SIU_Softball. This account features team news as well as live in-game updates. Fans can also follow Saluki Athletics @SIUSalukis for news on all SIU sports.

    SALUKI NEWS ONLINE is the official website for SIU Athletics. It is the best source for up-to-date information on the Saluki softball team. Rosters, box scores, cumulative statistics, pre-game notes and other materials are available on the site. You will need Adobe Acrobat to read PDF files.

    Coverage for every Saluki softball game is available online though Saluki All-Access at A live audio stream will be available for every game and live video will be available for all home games. Saluki All-Access also has on-demand content for all 18 Saluki sports.