Softball travels to SEMO Thursday

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    April 24, 2013

    Southern Illinois (21-24, 9-10 MVC) vs. SEMO (14-27, 6-13 OVC)
     Date Thursday, April 25
     Time 5 p.m.
     Location Cape Girardeau, Mo. – Southeast Softball Complex
     Audio Streaming online at Saluki All-Access
     Game Notes Southern Illinois Get Acrobat Reader
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    The Last Meeting
    Southern Illinois7
    April 25, 2012
    Carbondale, Ill.
    Softball wins battle with SEMO, 7-6
    Southern Illinois drew six walks to set the most walks drawn in a season with 199 to help in a victory over regional rival SEMO Wednesday.

    CARBONDALE, Ill. — The Southern Illinois softball team travels to Cape Girardeau, Mo., Thursday for a non-conference matchup with Southeast Missouri State.

    SIU leads the all-time series between the two programs 76-28-1, and the Salukis have won the last 14 meetings. SEMO’s last win in the series came in Carbondale during the 2001 season. SIU coach Kerri Blaylock is 20-1 all-time against the program where she got her coaching start as a graduate assistant during the 1989 and 1990 seasons. The Redhawks enter the matchup at 14-27 overall, but have gone 3-3 in their lasts six games. Alexis Anderson leads the SEMO offense with 47 hits and a .398 batting average, and ranks second on the team with 21 runs scored. Taylor Cowan leads the Redhawks in RBI with 25 and ranks second on the team in batting average (.283) and hits (34) while Lindsey Patterson (.274 avg., 32 hits, 19 runs) and Simone Patterson (.263 avg., 31 hits, 18 RBI) have also been solid offensive contributors. Cowan (6-18) leads the SEMO pitching staff with 32 appearances and 153.0 innings pitched. She has a team-best 3.66 ERA with a team-high 77 strikeouts.

    SIU rallied from a 5-3 deficit with four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning and the Salukis held on for a 7-6 win last season in Carbondale.

    SIU got a first-inning grand slam from Michelle Bradley and held off a late Evansville rally for a 4-3 win over the Purple Aces Tuesday night at Charlotte West Stadium. Brittney Lang struck out eight to take the pitching win while Katie Bertelsen picked up her third save of the season.

    SEMO is the last of six Ohio Valley Conference schools the Salukis will face this season. SIU previously faced OVC members Eastern Kentucky, Austin Peay, SIU Edwardsville, Eastern Illinois and UT Martin. SIU was also supposed to face OVC member Belmont during the Saluki Invitational, but the matchup was cancelled due to inclement weather. SIU has struggled against its OVC counterparts thus far, going 1-5 in those games.

    Michelle Bradley’s first-inning grand slam Tuesday against Evansville marked SIU’s sixth of the season, which set a new program record for grand slams in a season. SIU’s previous record of five grand slams came in 2010. Meredith Wilson has two of SIU’s grand slams this season while Bradley, Jayna Spivey, Taylor Orsburn and Allie VadeBoncouer have the others.

    Junior Taylor Orsburn has reached base in 16 consecutive games for the Salukis through Tuesday, and also carries a seven-game hit streak. The Alto Pass, Ill., native has recorded at least one hit in 13 out of SIU’s last 14 games. Orsburn is tied for second on the team with 42 hits through Tuesday.

    Two players had career-best hit streaks come to an end last week. Sophomore Kalyn Harker had an eight-game hit streak come to a close in the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader against Evansville while junior Jayna Spivey had a 10-game hit streak end in the first game of Saturday’s twinbill at Creighton. Senior Morgan Barchan had SIU’s longest hit streak of the season with a 15-game streak that ended March 29 at Illinois State.

    Senior outfielder Morgan Barchan is tied for the MVC’s lead with 56 hits for the season. She sits three 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 team-leading .371 batting average. Southern’s leadoff hitter, Barchan leads SIU with a .466 on-base percentage and also ranks fourth in the MVC with 39 runs scored.

    Saluki junior Jayna Spivey leads SIU and is tied for second in the MVC with 11 home runs, which ties her career best and ranks tied for seventh in SIU history. Her 29 career home runs rank fourth in SIU history.

    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 ranks third in the MVC with 40 RBI. Her 20 RBI in MVC play is the league leader. Spivey is also second on the team with 42 hits and 35 runs scored. Her .601 slugging percentage leads the team and her .304 batting average is second among SIU’s everyday players.

    SIU’s game April 10 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 509-250 overall. She is the second SIU coach and the eighth MVC coach to reach the 500-win milestone. Her career .671 winning percentage is the highest among the MVC’s 500-win coaches.

    SIU is up to 34 homers for the season, which is tied for second in the MVC. SIU’s 20 home runs in MVC games leads the league. 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 MVC in drawing free bases with a combined 232 free bases via walks and hit-by-pitches. The Salukis rank second behind Illinois State for the MVC’s lead in bases on balls with 184, and the Salukis’ 48 free bases on hit by pitches is the league leader by 12.

    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. 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.

    Junior catcher Allie VadeBoncouer has drawn 20 free bases on hit-by-pitches this season. She ranks 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 52 total pitches in her career.