Alicia Junker will be one of three seniors honored during the weekend series
April 27, 2012
By Megan Kramper
CARBONDALE, Ill. - A battle of the two top teams in the Missouri Valley Conference will take place at Charlotte West Stadium as the SIU softball team welcomes Northern Iowa for a three-game series Saturday and Sunday. The Panthers sit four games ahead of the Salukis in the conference standings and the series will also mark the final home games for seniors Mallory Duran-Sellers, Haley Gorman, and Alicia Junker.
Southern Illinois Salukis (31-14, 14-6 MVC) vs. UNI Panthers (35-13, 18-2 MVC)
Games 46-48 • Charlotte West Stadium (Carbondale, Ill.)
Radio: Game Central on SIUSalukis.com with Patrick Erickson (play-by-play) and Johnny Sole
Video: Game Central on SIUSalukis.com
The Salukis lead the all-time series 67-23 but dropped the series in Cedar Falls, Iowa, last season. The Salukis hold a 29-6 record over the Panthers since Kerri Blaylock took over as head coach in 2000.
Saturday: 74˚, mostly cloudy
Sunday: 64˚, mostly cloudy
ON DECK: UNI PANTHERS
League-leading Northern Iowa has had an impressive 2012 season including going on a 16-0 run in conference action to start the season before dropping the first game of a doubleheader to Bradley on April 18. They defeated the Braves Wednesday before splitting a pair of games with Iowa in Iowa City Thursday. The Panthers have eight seniors on the roster including Mackenzie Daigh, who holds an MVC-leading .398 batting average. UNI leads the MVC in the circle with a 2.08 team ERA. Sophomore Jamie Fisher anchors the pitching staff with a 1.47 ERA and an 18-2 record. She has pitched 162.0 innings with 185 strikeouts and holds opponents to a .188 batting average. Jaye Hutcheson also plays a significant role in the pitching staff as she carries a 2.61 ERA and 14-9 record this season.
RECOGNIZING THE SENIOR CLASS
The weekend series will mark the final home games for seniors Mallory Duran-Sellers, Haley Gorman and Alicia Junker. Each has played four years for SIU with the Salukis compling a record of 138-64 overall and 60-24 in the MVC duirng their tenure. They also earned a regular season conference title in 2010 and have a 58-20 record at Charlotte West Stadium.
VADEBONCOUER GOES FOR THE RBI RECORD
Sophomore catcher Allie VadeBoncouer will chase SIU's single-season RBI record in the Salukis' final eight regular season games. She currently has driven in 48 this season, just three shy of tying Katie Wilson's record of 51 set in 2010.
HANGING ON TO BEAT SEMO
In a back-and-forth battle, the Salukis outlasted regional-rival SEMO in a 7-6 win Wednesday at Charlotte West Stadium. The lead changed four times but the Salukis hung on thanks in part to a four-run fifth inning.
WALKING RIGHT INTO HISTORY
With 199 walks on the season, the Salukis set the single-season program record for walks drawn in the win over SEMO. The current record of 194 was set back in 2004 & 2005 and the Salukis are currently averaging 4.42 walks per game.
RUNNING OVER HER OWN RECORD
Senior outfielder Mallory Duran-Sellers broke her own SIU record for single-season runs scored in the 7-6 win over SEMO Wednesday. Duran-Sellers scored her 55th run of the season in the win, surpassing her previous record of 54 set last season. Duran-Sellers is also close to setting the single-season record for walks drawn as she currently ranks third in SIU history with 40 this season. Duran-Sellers has scored 156 runs in her career, which is three shy of tying SIU's individual career record set by Colleen Holloway in 1990-93.
1.Northern Iowa 18-2
T2. SIU 14-6
T2. Creighton 14-6
4. Illinois State 14-7
5. Drake 11-10
6. Missouri State 8-12
7. Bradley 7-13
8. Wichita State 6-15
9. Indiana State 5-15
10. Evansville 5-16
(Note: SIU holds the tie breaker advantage over Creighton as they won the three-game series back on Mar. 25-26)