Jones’ no-hitter highlights day two of Lion Classic
Day two of the Saluki softball season went down as another doubleheader split, but the two results came in far different fashions.
SIU ended its last game early on Friday, but the offense couldn’t quite break through in Saturday’s first game of the Lion Classic.
The Salukis had the bases loaded twice in the game but couldn’t manage to score a run against Nicholls State, losing 3-1.
Southern went 1-7 in the game with runners in scoring position. Its lone run of the game was scored on a home run from senior center fielder Merri Anne Patterson in the seventh inning.
Sophomore pitcher Nicole Doyle was dominant through the first four innings and it seemed that all SIU would need was one run to win. She surrendered only one hit and struck out six batters in that time.
SIU (1-2) had its first major scoring threat in the first when freshman right fielder Susie Baranski led off with a single for the third game in a row, followed by a walk from senior first baseman Shaye Harre and a single from junior third baseman Haley Andrus to load the bases, but none of them came home.
However, Nicholls State (3-0) capitalized in its first scoring opportunity. A walk, a double and a hit batter loaded the bases with no one out.
Saluki sophomore pitcher Brianna Jones was called on to try to fan the flames, but allowed a hit up the middle by Colonels freshman outfielder Samanatha Mracich for the game’s first two runs.
Doyle ended up picking up the loss with the two earned runs and six strikeouts.
The Salukis would load the bases again in the sixth, but another strikeout with two outs ended the threat.
Jones bounced back in the grandest fashion possible in the second game of the day, throwing her first career no-hitter in a 5-0 win against Mississippi Valley State.
The Manchester, Tenn., native struck out 10 batters and only walked one in her first win this season.
It is SIU’s first no-hitter since Doyle threw one in her first career start last year against Hartford.
Even though one run would’ve been enough to secure the win, Harre supplied two in the first inning with a two-RBI double to score Baranski and sophomore left fielder Eyrika Brandenburg.
Brandenburg had a strong game herself, going 2 for 4 and scoring two runs.
After her second run of the game pushed the Saluki lead to 3-0, junior shortstop Savannah Fisher continued her strong start to the season, hitting her third home run in four games.
SIU didn’t allow any Delta Devil baserunners to reach second throughout the entire game thanks to junior catcher Sydney Jones catching both of their baserunners stealing second.
Southern will close out the Lion Classic with an early morning matinee at 9 a.m. against Army.