The SIU Salukis softball team gives each other high fives before the game against Drake University on Sunday, March 21, 2021 at SIU. (Subash Kharel | @pics.leaks)
The SIU Salukis softball team gives each other high fives before the game against Drake University on Sunday, March 21, 2021 at SIU.

Subash Kharel | @pics.leaks

Saluki softball wins two of three games in weekend series against Drake

March 21, 2021

The SIU softball team took on Drake University on March 20 and 21, playing three games against them at the Charlotte West Stadium. 

The Salukis won the first game in six innings 10-2 and they won the third game 7-1. Drake defeated Southern in a close second game 7-6, which broke the 22-game home winning streak.

In the doubleheader on the first day of the series on March 20, SIU defeated Drake 10-2 in the first game with runs from grad. student infielder Maddy Vermejan, senior outfielder Maris Boelen, senior infielder Jenny Jansen, sophomore outfielder Aubree DePron and others.

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Drake scored the first run of the game in the second inning with a home run from sophomore utility player Emily Valtman, but the Salukis quickly followed by scoring two runs in the third from Vermejan and freshman outfielder Bailey Caylor.

In the fifth inning, freshman outfielder Elizabeth Warwick hit a homerun with two players on base bringing the score to 5-2. Senior outfielder Macy Johnson also scored a run  for Drake in the fifth innings, but didn’t gain a lead.

Southern scored its last five runs in the sixth inning with a two RBI from grad student catcher Katelyn Massa, sending Jansen and Vermejan home.

DePron, Warwick and freshman infielder Elisabeth Huckleberry were the last to score in the inning, bringing the score to 10-2 and ending the game early.

In the second game, Drake beat SIU 7-6 in a close game snapping the Salukis home winning streak.

Drake started the game early with a 4-0 run in the first three innings with runs by senior utility player Libby Ryan, Johnson and freshman utility player Makayla Rice.

Southern fought back in the third inning with scoring two runs from RBIs by Massa and Warick, sending Vermejan and Caylor to home plate and making the score 4-2.

Drake scored three more runs before the game ended from Ryan, freshman utility player Haylee Lehman and Rice, giving them enough of a lead that the Salukis could not catch up, even with the four RBI from Jansen in the sixth inning.

“We got it rolling offensively in the first game, we started slow offensively in both games but we got it going towards the end. […] Give credit to Drake, they jumped on the ball, especially in the second game,” head coach Kerri Blaylock said in a release on the SIU athletics website.

SIU and Drake played their final game on March 21 in which the Salukis beat the Bulldogs again 7-1.

Southern started the game off strong by going on a 7-0 run in the third and fourth inning with five runs in the third inning from Vermejan, Jansen, Huckleberry, Warwick and Massa.

Massa and Jansen scored runs in the fourth inning from a two RBI by Warwick. Drake only scored one run in the sixth inning from a homerun by Valtman.

“The Valley season is a grind. We probably let one slip away yesterday, but you can’t get hung up on that. […] I’m really proud of our kids for coming out ready to go,” Blaylock said in a release on SIU athletics websites.

The Salukis will take the field again on March 24 in a doubleheader against Missouri State at the Charlotte West Stadium.

Staff reporter Janae Mosby can be reached at jmosby@dailyegyptian.com or on Twitter at @mosbyj.

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