Softball opens MVC Tournament Thursday against Wichita State

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    May 8, 2013

    2013 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament
     Dates May 9-11
     Location Omaha, Neb. – Creighton Sports Complex
     Tournament Info MVC Tournament Central
     Tournament Notes Southern Illinois Get Acrobat Reader

    No. 5 Southern Illinois (24-26, 12-10 MVC)


    No. 8 Wichita State (19-32, 10-15 MVC)

     Date May 9
     Time 11:05 a.m.
     Radio WFRX 1300 AM
     Audio Streaming online at Saluki All-Access
     Video Streaming online at Valley Live
     Live Stats Game 1
     Social Media @SIU_Softball

    CARBONDALE, Ill.— The fifth-seeded Southern Illinois softball team opens the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Thursday morning against No. 8 seed Wichita State.

    SIU is 42-46 all-time in 29 MVC Tournament appearances. The Salukis have made it to the tournament championship game six times with their lone title coming in 1991. SIU is 12-20 at the MVC Tournament under head coach Kerri Blaylock. Blaylock looks for her first tournament title in her 14 years at the helm as the Salukis have made four championship game appearances during her tenure. SIU’s No. 5 seed in this year’s tournament is its lowest since 2000.

    SIU took two of three from the Shockers during the regular season in Carbondale. The Salukis swept a doubleheader with 7-6 and 14-6 wins before the Shockers took a 6-2 win in the finale. SIU is 49-24 all-time against the Shockers, including 8-0 in MVC Tournament play.

    SIU VS. No. 4 NORTHERN IOWA (potential quarterfinal)
    The Panthers got a pair of one-run victories in a doubleheader sweep of SIU during the regular season. The third game of the series was cancelled due to inclement weather. UNI won the opener 4-3 in 11 innings before winning the second game 2-1. UNI pitcher Jamie Fisher pitched all 18 innings on the day. SIU is 69-27 all-time against UNI, and 7-4 in MVC Tournament play.

    SIU VS. No. 1 CREIGHTON (potential semifinal)
    Creighton took the regular season series from the Salukis 2-1 in Omaha, Neb. The two teams went through seven scoreless innings in the opener before Creighton outscored SIU 6-5 in the eighth inning to take the win. SIU bounced back for a 6-1 win in the second game before the Bluejays took the rubber game 5-0. SIU is 23-30 all-time against Creighton, and 5-8 in MVC Tournament play.

    Junior Taylor Orsburn enters the tournament on a 12-game hit streak and a 21-game on-base streak. Both of those totals are career bests and they both ranks second on the team for the season behind senior Morgan Barchan, who had a 15-game hit streak and a 24-game on-base streak earlier this season. Orsburn has recorded a hit in 18 out of SIU’s last 19 games. She has moved up into a tie for second on the team with 48 hits for the season, and her batting average has elevated to .294.

    Junior Jayna Spivey was named to the Capital One Academic All-District First-Team, which was announced last Thursday by CoSIDA. This is Spivey’s first Academic-All District honor. She is now on the ballot for Academic All-America, which will be announced later this month. A biological sciences Major, Spivey holds a cumulative 3.80 GPA.

    Senior pitcher Brittney Lang had a career week two weeks ago with 28 strikeouts in four appearances for an average of seven per game. Prior to April 20, Lang’s career high in strikeouts was seven. She has eclipsed that mark three times in the past two weeks. She set a new career high with 13 strikeouts April 20 against Creighton before racking up eight last Tuesday against Evansville and nine Sunday against Bradley.

    Junior Jayna Spivey’s team-leading 43 RBI not only ranks third in the MVC for the season, but also ranks seventh in SIU history for a single season. The Rosiclare, Ill., native also ranks second on the team with 48 hits and 37 runs scored.

    Spivey is also working her way up the SIU record book for home runs. Her 11 home runs this season ranks second in the MVC and seventh in school history for a single season. She is up to 29 home runs for her career, which ranks fourth in SIU history.

    Senior outfielder Morgan Barchan’s 42 runs scored ranks fourth in the MVC and put her sixth in SIU history for runs scored in a season. The Arcadia, Calif., native has scored 116 runs over her career, which put her seventh in SIU history.

    Senior Morgan Barchan’s 61 hits through the close of the regular season lead the MVC by one entering this weekend’s Valley Tournament. Should she hold the top spot through the close of the year, she’ll be the first ever Saluki to lead the league in hits. Barchan’s tally is tied for seventh in SIU history. She sits just three hits shy of third place in SIU history (64 by Mallory Duran-Sellers in 2011).

    SIU set a new program record for grand slams in a season with six through the end of the regular season. SIU’s previous record of five grand slams came in 2010. Meredith Wilson has two of SIU’s grand slams this season while Michelle Bradley, Jayna Spivey, Taylor Orsburn and Allie VadeBoncouer have the others.

    BLAYLOCK RACKS UP MILESTONESSIU’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 also 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 512-252 overall. She is the second SIU coach and the eighth MVC coach to reach the 500-win milestone. Her career .670 winning percentage is the highest among the MVC’s 500-win coaches.

    SIU is up to 36 homers for the season, which ranks fourth in the MVC. SIU’s 22 home runs in MVC games ranks third in 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 259 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 201, and the Salukis’ 58 free bases on hit by pitches is the league leader by 19.

    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 22 free bases on hit-by-pitches this season. She is tied for sixth 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 54 total pitches in her career.