Senior shortstop Haley Gorman
May 4, 2012
By Megan Kramper
CARBONDALE, Ill - The Southern Illinois softball team will wrap up the regular season in a final three-game conference series at Bradley Saturday and Sunday. The Salukis currently sit in third place going into the final weekend with two game separating second and fourth place in the Missouri Valley Conferences standings.
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS SALUKIS (33-17, 15-8 MVC) vs. BRADLEY BRAVES (19-28, 9-14 MVC)
Games 51-53 Laura Bradley Park (Peoria, Ill.)
Radio: Game Central on SIUSalukis.com and 810 AM in Carbondale with Patrick Erickson (play-by-play)
Video: Video is available from Bradley All-Access
The Salukis lead the series history 55-23 including a six-game win streak over the Braves dating back to 2010. The Braves last beat the Dawgs in the 2009 MVC Tournament in a 5-1 decision. SIU has only lost four games in the past 10 years, once each in 2001, 2003, 2008 and 2009. Last season, the Dawgs swept the Braves in 10-0, 2-1, and 11-3 wins.
Saturday: 83˚, partly sunny
Sunday: 80˚, parly sunny
ON DECK: BRADLEY BRAVES
The Braves secured a spot in next week's MVC Tournament taking two of three games from Wichita State last weekend. They are coming off a 2-0 loss to Wisconsin in midweek action Tuesday and have dropped six of their last eight. Sophomore Madeline Lynch-Crumrine leads Bradley's attack at the plate with a .307 batting average, five doubles, two home runs, and 16 RBI. She also leads the team in the circle with a 2.64 ERA and 10-17 record in 180.1 innings pitched. She splits duties with Mackenzie Camp who holds a 3.32 ERA and 7-10 record. Jackie Roth and Bailiegh Basham lead the team with 21 RBI each while Basham leads in walks drawn (32) and Roth has a team-high eight doubles. As a team, the Braves hold a sixth-best .242 batting average in the conference and 3.47 ERA in the circle.
UP FOR GRABS
With UNI picking up their first regular season conference championship last weekend, the second through four seeds are still up for grabs for next weekend's State Farm MVC Championships held at Charlotte West Stadium. Illinois State, SIU, and Creighton will all battle it out for the second seed, which gives the team a first-round bye. The Redbirds, who lead SIU by a game and a half, will face Northern Iowa while fourth-place Creighton, who is two and a half games back of second, will go up against Missouri State in the final weekend of the regular season.
MVC Standings (MVC Record, Overall Record)
1. Northern Iowa 20-3, 37-14
2. Illinois State 17-7, 32-20
3. SIU 15-8, 33-17
4. Creighton 14-9, 26-22
5. Drake 14-10, 25-27
6. Missouri State 10-13, 22-24
7. Bradley 9-14, 19-28
8. Wichita State 7-17, 15-37
9. Indiana State 6-17, 19-31
10. Evansville 5-19, 15-36
30 WINS AGAIN
For the 16th-straight season, the Salukis have recorded at least 30 wins, including every season since current head coach Kerri Blaylock took over the reins in 2000. They also have their third consecutive season of double-digit wins in MVC action with a current record of 15-8.
The Salukis had another impressive non-conference midweek record finishing with a 6-2 record this season. They have wins over SIU Edwardsville, St. Louis, Eastern Illinois, SEMO and Murray State. They dropped games to UT Martin (Apr 10) and Illinois (May 2).
LEADING THE LEAGUE
The Salukis lead the MVC in batting average heading into the final weekend of the regular season. The Salukis hold a .296 average while second-best Creighton holds a .291. In team categories, SIU leads in on-base percentage (.409), runs scored (285), slugging percentage (.411) , runs scored (279),walks drawn (213), and sacrifice flies (14). They also lead in runs scored per game (5.81), and walks per game (4.29). Mallory Duran-Seller's .368 batting average is third-best individually, leads in runs scored (58) and is second in walks drawn (42). Allie VadeBoncouer leads in RBI (48), third on-base percentage (.537), and leads in hit by pitch (26).Kelsea Ashton also leads in sacrifice bunts with 22.
STEADY AT SHORTSTOP
Senior co-captain Haley Gorman has been a steady force for the Salukis in the past four seasons. Gorman currently holds 183 starts in her career with a 129 of those coming in consecutive starts since March 31, 2010.
SEVENTH-INNING HEORICS CAN'T SAVE SALUKIS
A seventh-inning rally fell short against Illinois in a 3-2 loss Wednesday in Urbana, Ill. The Salukis had two outs and two runners on base in the top of the seventh, but couldn't push the tying run across the plate. The Illini now own a five-game win streak over the Salukis dating back to 2008.