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SIU softball splits again at February Freezer

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SIU then-freshman Sydney Jones celebrates her stand-up double against Bradley University at Charlotte West Stadium. 

SIU then-freshman Sydney Jones celebrates her stand-up double against Bradley University at Charlotte West Stadium. 

SIU then-freshman Sydney Jones celebrates her stand-up double against Bradley University at Charlotte West Stadium. 

By Sean Carley

For the fifth time in six doubleheaders this season, Saluki softball walked away with a win and a loss.

SIU held tough with its second Power 5 opponent of the season on Saturday, eventually losing to host Mississippi State 5-2 to open the day. It then redeemed one of its Friday losses, beating Eastern Illinois 7-5.

Saluki ace Brianna Jones performed as such through the first four innings, allowing only three hits.

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Junior infielder Sydney Jones scored the game’s first run, starting her outstanding day at the plate, with a two-run home run off the left field scoreboard in the fifth inning.

SIU’s lead wouldn’t last long though, as the Bulldog bats came alive in grand fashion in the bottom of the fifth.

Mississippi State (10-3) strung together six hits and SIU contributed an error for the Bulldogs to bring across five runs.

The Salukis got runners in scoring position in each of the final two innings, but couldn’t scratch a run off Bulldog pitcher Cassady Knudsen who earned her first win of the season.

Brianna Jones (3-2, 1.74 ERA) picked up the loss with a final line of nine hits, four earned runs, two walks and two strikeouts across six innings.

SIU (9-7) then got the opportunity to avenge its loss against Eastern Illinois (7-6) and took full advantage.

Southern started the scoring immediately in this game as Sydney Jones picked up her third RBI of the day on a sacrifice fly to score freshman right fielder Susie Baranski. Fellow freshman Maddy Vermejan scored one batter later on a passed ball to give SIU a 2-0 lead.

Sydney Jones ended up going 3-6 on the day with a double, home run and three RBIs.

Sophomore Nicole Doyle got her second start of the weekend against Eastern and didn’t give up a run until the third. The Panthers tied the game on one swing with freshman right fielder Mia Davis’ two-RBI double.

SIU reclaimed the lead in the sixth with its second five-run inning of the tournament.

Junior third baseman Haley Andrus brought home the first run of the inning without even swinging the bat after being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

Two batters later, sophomore left fielder Eyrika Brandenburg cleared the bases with a triple. She later came around to score on a Panther fielding error.

The Panthers would try to fight back in the final two innings. They hit a two-run home run in the sixth and Brianna Jones came in to shut the door.

Brianna Jones got the final six outs to pick up her first save of the season and Doyle (2-2, 4.85 ERA) earned the win.

Staff writer Sean Carley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @SeanMCarley.

To stay up to date with all your SIU sports news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.

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