Softball heads to first-place Creighton for three-game series

    Junior Jayna Spivey

    Junior Jayna Spivey
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    April 19, 2013

    Southern Illinois (19-22, 7-8 MVC) vs. Creighton (24-11, 10-2 MVC)
     Dates Saturday and Sunday, April 20-21
     Times Saturday, 12 p.m. (DH) / Sunday 12 p.m.
     Location Omaha, Neb. - Creighton Sports Complex
     Audio Streaming online at Saluki All-Access
     Game Notes Southern Illinois Get Acrobat Reader
     Live Stats Game 1 / Game 2 / Game 3
     Social Media @SIU_Softball

    The Last Meeting
    Creighton2
    Southern Illinois3
    May 10, 2012
    Carbondale, Ill.
    Softball tops Creighton 3-2, advances to MVC Tournament Semis
    Michelle Bradley's sixth-inning home run lifts Salukis past Bluejays in MVC Tournament quarterfinal.


    CARBONDALE, Ill.-- The Southern Illinois softball team travels to Omaha, Neb., Saturday and Sunday for a three-game series against Missouri Valley Conference leader Creighton.

    SIU VS. CREIGHTON
    Creighton leads the all-time series between the two teams 22-28, but the Salukis have won four out of the last five matchups. The Bluejays enter the series at 24-11 overall with a 10-2 MVC record that ranks first in the Valley. The Creighton lineup features one of the top hitters in the conference in senior catcher Amy Baker. Baker ranks second in the MVC with a .416 batting average, leads the Valley with 15 home runs and is tied for second in the league with 37 RBI. Also for the Bluejays' offense, Blair Lowe (.337 avg, 33 hits, 15 RBI, 23 runs), Liz Dike (.340 avg, 34 hits, 17 runs) and Kelsey Allender (.264 avg., 24 hits, 18 RBI) have been solid contributors. Creighton also has one of the MVC's top pitchers in junior Becca Changstrom, who leads the Valley in wins (17) ERA (1.48) and strikeouts (185). Changstrom has helped the Bluejays pitching staff to an MVC-best 2.11 ERA.

    LAST TIME THEY MET
    SIU took three of four from the Bluejays last season, with all of the games being played in Carbondale. Southern swept Creighton 10-4 and 17-8 in a doubleheader before dropping the regular season finale to the Jays 7-6. The Salukis also topped Creighton 3-2 in the MVC Tournament.

    LAST TIME OUT
    SIU dropped both games of a midweek doubleheader with Evansville Wednesday evening. The Salukis committed a season-high tying four errors in an 8-7 loss in the opener before recording just four hits and stranding 10 runners in a 4-2 loss in the nightcap.

    ON THE ROAD AGAIN
    SIU its on its longest road swing since the beginning of the season with five consecutive games away from Carbondale. The Salukis played 10 of 15 games at home in March and played seven of their first nine games at home in April.

    SPIVEY WALKS IT OFF
    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 last weekend. 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.

    HARKER HEATING UP
    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 .396 batting average with 19 hits in Valley play, and is tied for second in the league with 15 RBI. She also leads SIU with a .667 slugging percentage on a team-best eight extra base hits in MVC play. She had a career-best eight-game hitting streak come to an end Wednesday in the first game of Wednesday's doubleheader with Evansville. 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.

    SPIVEY ON A HIT STREAK
    Junior Jayna Spivey enters the weekend on a career-best nine-game hit streak. Spivey's streak is the second longest for SIU this season. Senior Morgan Barchan had a 15-game hit streak end March 30 at Illinois State.

    BARCHAN ON THE HIT LIST
    Senior outfielder Morgan Barchan enters the weekend ranked second in the MVC with 50 hits 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 sixth in the MVC with a team-leading .368 batting average. Southern's leadoff hitter, Barchan leads SIU with a .469 on-base percentage and also ranks fourth in the MVC with 35 runs scored.

    SPIVEY, SOUTHERN'S DEEP THREAT
    Saluki junior Jayna Spivey leads SIU and is tied for 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.

    BLAYLOCK RACKS UP MILESTONES
    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 507-248 overall. She is the second SIU coach and the eighth MVC coach to reach the 500-win milestone. Her career .672 winning percentage is the highest among the MVC's 500-win coaches.

    SWINGING FOR THE FENCES
    SIU is up to 32 homers for the season, which ranks second in the MVC behind Creighton's 39. That total through 41 games is just one shy of the team's long ball tally from last season. SIU's 18 home runs in MVC games is the league-leader by three. 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.

    BASES FOR FREE
    Southern enters the weekend leading the MVC in drawing free bases with a combined 215 free bases via walks and hit-by-pitches. The Salukis lead are tied with Illinois State for the MVC's lead in bases on balls, and the Salukis' 46 free bases on hit by pitches is the league leader by 13.

    ISN'T IT GRAND?
    Jayna Spivey's walkoff grand slam last 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.

    VADEBONCOUER THE BALL MAGNET
    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.

    SWINGING SPIVEY
    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 32 runs scored. Spivey is also second on the team with 41 hits. Her .617 slugging percentage leads the team and her .320 batting average is second among SIU's everyday players.


     

     

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