Softball preps for final home game

Seniors Mallory Duran-Sellers, Haley Gorman and Alicia Junker will say goodbye to Rochman Field and Charlotte West Stadium today at the final regular season home game of their SIU softball careers.

Sophomore catcher Allie VadeBoncouer, left, advises freshman pitcher Katie Bertelsen on the mound Sunday during a home loss to the Northern Iowa University Panthers at Charlotte West Stadium. The Salukis play their last home game 4 p.m. today against Wichita State University at Charlotte West Stadium. isaac smith | Daily Egyptian

The Salukis (32-16) will play against Ohio Valley Conference team  Murray State (29-16) at 4 p.m. today. The Salukis hold a 15-6 home record, while the Racers are 7-8 on the road.

Even though the Salukis dropped their first conference series Sunday at home in the loss to MVC first place team Northern Iowa University, the three seniors remain optimistic and look to finish their last home game with unforgettable memories.

Duran-Sellers said she hopes to finish the season strong with a win against the Racers. She has averaged .382 in hits, along with four home runs, 22 RBIs and 41 walks this season.

Gorman, starting shortstop, has started all 183 games of her career at SIU and holds a .327 average with 67 RBIs. She said she wants the last home game to be memorable, and she wants the team to come out on top.

“It means everything to be a Saluki,” Gorman said. “My years have been pretty much everything I’ve expected and everything I’ve wanted it to be. We have to come out focused and be ready to play no matter what team we play.”

After the team’s loss Sunday, coach Kerri Blaylock said she saw strong effort coming from the team, and she wasn’t going to let one loss affect her season. She said although she’s prepared the team for today’s game, the team has spent more time focusing on the May 10 MVC championship.

“We have five games left in the regular season, and we still have a lot to accomplish,” Blaylock said.  “My message to the kids was, ‘Let’s not only come out and be ready to play for tomorrow, but let’s be getting prepared for a little bit further down the year.”

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