Salukis head to Evansville Wednesday for doubleheader

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    Sophomore Kalyn Harker
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    April 16, 2013

    Southern Illinois (19-20, 7-6 MVC) vs. Evansville (15-24, 6-8 MVC)
     Date Wednesday, April 17
     Times 3 p.m. (DH)
     Location Evansville, Ind. – Cooper Stadium
     Audio Streaming online at Saluki All-Access
     Game Notes Southern Illinois Get Acrobat Reader
     Live Stats Game 1 / Game 2
     Social Media @SIU_Softball

    The Last Meeting
    Southern Illinois0  
    April 24, 2012
    Evansville, Ind.
    Softball stumped by Evansville in series finale
    The Southern Illinois softball team (30-14, 14-6 MVC) dropped the final game of the three-game series with the Purple Aces at Cooper Stadium Wednesday.

    CARBONDALE, Ill.— The Southern Illinois softball team looks for its fourth consecutive Missouri Valley Conference series win Wednesday as the Salukis travel to Evansville for a doubleheader.

    SIU leads its all-time series with the Purple Aces 54-19. The Salukis haven’t dropped a season series with the Purple Aces since 2002, but UE has taken at least one game the last five seasons. The last Saluki sweep in the series came in 2007. Evansville enters the matchup at 15-24 overall and 6-8 in the MVC, but the Aces have played some of their best softball in recent weeks. UE has won its last two MVC series over UNI and Bradley, and the Aces have won five of their last seven overall. The Evansville offense is led by senior outfielder Tamara Robey, who has a team-high .362 batting average with a team-high 47 hits and 29 runs scored. Sophomore outfielder Kayla Fortner leads the team with seven home runs and is second on the team in batting average (.295), hits (31) and RBI (25). Kendall Kautz leads the Aces with 27 RBI to go along with 28 hits and a .230 average while Victoria Dellorto (.254 avg, 30 hits, 20 runs) has also been a solid offensive contributor. Sarah Patterson (10-8) leads the UE pitching staff with 20 starts and 20 appearances. Patterson has a team-best 2.58 ERA to go along with 96 strikeouts.

    SIU took two of three from the Purple Aces last season. The Salukis won 2-1 and 9-1 in a doubleheader sweep in Carbondale before the Aces took the series finale 9-0 in Evansville.

    SIU picked up its first MVC series sweep of the season over Missouri State last weekend. After taking a 7-1 win in Saturday’s series opener, the Salukis got back-to-back walkoff hits from Jayna Spivey to win the next two. Spivey hit a two-out walkoff grand slam to give SIU a 7-5 win in Game 2 and she knocked a two-out RBI single to lift SIU to a 5-4 win in the ninth inning of the series finale.

    SIU’s three-game sweep of Missouri State matched the Salukis’ longest winning streak of the season. Since starting 0-4 in MVC play for its worst ever conference start, Southern has gone 7-2 in the Valley over the last three weeks with three consecutive MVC series wins to fight its way into the top half of the league standings.

    SIU embarks on its longest road swing since the beginning of the season this week with five consecutive games away from Carbondale. The Salukis played 10 of 15 games at home in March and have played seven of nine at home so far in April.

    Junior Jayna Spivey came up with the walkoff winner in back-to-back games for the Salukis in the last two games of a three-game sweep of Missouri State. Spivey hit a walkoff grand slam with two outs in the bottom of the seventh to give SIU a 7-5 comeback win in Game 2 of Saturday’s doubleheader. She followed with a walkoff RBI single with two outs in the ninth inning of a 5-4 win in the series finale. The Rosiclare, Ill., native also had a walkoff winner in SIU’s 8-7 win over UC Davis on Feb. 22 at the NFCA Leadoff Classic. She has three of SIU’s five walkoff hits this season.

    Sophomore Kalyn Harker has been one of SIU’s strongest offensive players thus far in MVC play. The Lebanon, Ind., native has a team-best .405 batting average with 17 hits in Valley play, and is tied for the MVC’s lead with 15 RBI. She also leads SIU with a .714 slugging percentage on a team-best eight extra-base hits in MVC play. One of SIU’s most athletic players, Harker has also been a defensive stopper with several key putouts in center field via highlight reel catches.

    Junior Jayna Spivey and sophomore Kalyn Harker both enter Wednesday’s doubleheader on seven-game hit streaks. Spivey and Harker are tied for the second-longest hit streak for SIU this season. Senior Morgan Barchan had a 15-game hit streak end March 30 at Illinois State.

    Senior outfielder Morgan Barchan continues to lead the MVC in hits through last week with 50 for the season. She sits nine hits shy of entering the SIU Top 10 list for hits in a season. The Arcadia, Calif., native ranks fourth in the MVC with a .385 batting average. Southern’s leadoff hitter, Barchan leads SIU with a .481 on-base percentage and is also the team leader in runs scored with 35.

    Saluki junior Jayna Spivey leads SIU and ranks second in the MVC with 10 home runs, which sits just one short of her career best. Spivey hit 11 home runs as a freshman in 2011, which is tied for seventh in SIU history for a single season. Her 28 career home runs rank fourth in SIU history. Her 10 home runs this season is tied for 10th in SIU history for a single season.

    SIU’s game last Wednesday at UT Martin marked SIU head coach Kerri Blaylock’s 750th game as a head coach, all of which were at SIU. Blaylock picked up her 500th career coaching win on March 21 with SIU’s doubleheader sweep of Saint Louis. In her 14th season, the Saluki skipper sits at 507-246 overall. She is the second SIU coach and the eighth MVC coach to reach the 500-win milestone. Her career .673 winning percentage is the highest among the MVC’s 500-win coaches.

    SIU is up to 31 homers for the season, which is tied for second in the MVC behind Creighton 39. That total through 39 games is just two shy of the team’s long ball tally from last season. SIU’s 17 home runs in MVC games is the league-leader by two. Six Saluki players (Michelle Bradley, Morgan Barchan, Kalyn Harker, Taylor Orsburn, Jayna Spivey and Meredith Wilson) have either equaled or bettered their home run totals from last season.

    Southern leads the MVC in drawing free bases through last week’s games with a combined 204 free bases via walks and hit-by-pitches. The Salukis lead the MVC with 161 bases on balls and Illinois State (160) is the only other team in the Valley with more than 125. Additionally, the Salukis’ 43 free bases on hit by pitches is the league leader.

    Jayna Spivey’s walkoff grand slam Saturday against Missouri State marked SIU’s fifth grand slam of the season, which ties a program record for grand slams in a season. SIU also hit five grand slams in 2011. Meredith Wilson already has two grand slams for SIU this season, something last accomplished by Christina Trapani in 2011.

    Junior catcher Allie VadeBoncouer has drawn 19 free bases on hit-by-pitch this season. She is tied for fifth in the nation in HBPs through the NCAA’s most recent stats report. VadeBoncouer led the nation last season with 28 hit-by-pitches. She has been hit by 51 total pitches in her career.

    In addition to her home run prowess, Spivey has been one of SIU’s most consistent run producers this season. She leads the Salukis and is tied for fourth in the MVC with 35 RBI and ranks second on the team with 31 runs scored. Spivey is also second on the team with 39 hits. Her .626 slugging percentage leads the team and her .317 batting average is second among SIU’s everyday players.