SIU will take on Evansville today for the second time in a week.
The Salukis swept the Evansville Aces during a three-game conference series April 17, so the team has high hopes as it plays the Aces again at 5 p.m. in Evansville, Ind.
The Salukis have won every series against the Aces since 2002, but April 17 marked their first complete two-game sweep since 2007.
SIU (30-13, 14-5 MVC) holds a commanding lead in an all-time series (55-20) against Evansville (13-31, 4-16 MVC). The Aces hold a 2012 home record of 5-11, while the Salukis have a 10-3 record on the road after losing to Missouri State in the last game of the series Sunday.
Coach Kerri Blaylock was unavailable for comment during Monday’s practice, but associate head coach Jen Sewell said a complete sweep against the Aces is a tough thing to do.
She said after the team’s success Saturday and Sunday against Drake and Missouri State, her expectations are high for today’s game.
“We want to come ready to play,” Sewell said. “Our practices have been pretty repetitive at this point, and the chance to get back onto the field is good again. For Evansville, we’re going to try and finish out this series because this is a series sweep we want.”
Senior shortstop Haley Gorman said her goal is to sweep Evansville before she graduates in May.
“I want us to come out ready to compete and put it on (Evansville),” Gorman said. “I just want to win.”
Sewell said the players approach each game with the same mindset: stay focused, be energetic and come ready to compete.
Sewell said the game is going to be interesting from an offensive perspective, specifically because of the architecture of Evansville’s stadium.
“They have a very nice park, but it’s interesting how it’s laid out because it’s a little uphill,” Sewell said. “At times you feel like the pitcher is throwing down on you, and as a hitter you feel like you can’t get on top of the ball.”
Freshman back-up pitcher Katie Bertelsen said her expectations are for her herself more than the game. She said she’s determined to throw strikes and make good defensive plays.
“If I pitch, I just know I have to hit my spots and my locations,” Bertelsen said. “I have to do my best.”
Bertelsen said the team has to be aware both on defense and offense to take the series against the Aces.
She said the Salukis’ game plan on defense is to avoid random errors, something they typically struggle with during games. Sewell said the error never hurts the team’s defense, but it seems to affect its momentum.