SIU Softball goes 4-0 at home, dominates Saluki Invitational


Lylee Gibbs | @lyleegibbsphotography

Saluki Softball gather around home plate to congratulate Rylie Hamilton (1) on her solo home run which scored the first points for the Salukis at the Coach B Classic home opener tournament Feb. 26, 2023 at Charlotte West Stadium in Carbondale, Ill.

The Saluki softball team (14-2) is on fire right now, winning four straight at Charlotte West Stadium for the second consecutive weekend. They racked off wins against Loyola (4-14), UT Martin (5-8), and two against Butler (4-17).

They played a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon, and the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers were the first to fall. The Salukis scored four in their half of the third inning and never relinquished the lead. Elizabeth Warwick led the way for Southern as she went 2-for-2 with a double, two RBI, and drew two walks as well. After two unanswered runs from Loyola, Emma Austin hit a one-out triple in the bottom of the sixth. She was followed with back-to-back run-scoring doubles from Warwick and Jackie Lis to tack on two for SIU.

Elliot Stinson tossed five innings of 2-run ball on the mound while striking out five, collecting her fourth win of the season. Hannah Hockerman shut the Ramblers down the rest of the way, pitching two scoreless innings and earning her third save of the season and securing a 6-2 Saluki victory.


In the second game of the doubleheader, the UT Martin Skyhawks put instant pressure on the Dawgs, scoring five in the first, powered by a grand slam from Kallie Pickens. But the Salukis answered immediately, getting three back on a homer from Rylie Hamilton who went 4-for-4 with three RBI in the game. Madi Eberle got the win, tossing 2 scoreless frames after struggling in the first. The ball was then handed to Hockerman who continued her dominance, going five innings without allowing an earned run and striking out six. 

The bats on both sides were silenced until the bottoms of the sixth and seventh where SIU used some small ball to knot the game at five. It sent the game to extras where an unearned run gave the Skyhawks a 6-5 lead. But Jackie Lis came through in the bottom of the eighth, walking off UT Martin on a two-run double for a 7-6 Southern win.

The Butler Bulldogs came to play for a Sunday matinee, where pitching dominated the first half of the matchup. Stinson got the ball again for SIU and pitched 4 innings of scoreless ball, striking out five and not allowing a hit. She was initially matched by the Bulldogs’ Mackenzie Griman who pitched the entirety of the game for Butler 

Warwick showed up again, breaking the ice with a 2-run double in the bottom of the fifth to put the Dawgs ahead. But Butler responded quickly on a two-run homer from Ella White to tie the game in the top half of the sixth. This one went to extras as well, and the Bulldogs took the lead in their half of the eighth on an RBI single 3-2. The Salukis once again clutched up, capitalizing on a Butler error and Erin Lee then bunting in the winning run to earn another walkoff win 4-3.

Madi Ederle was the story on Monday afternoon, pitching a complete game for SIU as she went six scoreless innings of 1-hit ball. She also did it while only striking out one Bulldog batter en route to her seventh win of the season. 

She received plenty of run support for the Saluki offense, who scored eight runs powered by the top half of the lineup. Leadoff hitter Emma Austin set the table going 3-for-3 including another triple. Warwick and Hamilton both went 2-for-4 with doubles and two RBI. Cleanup hitter Jackie Lis also smashed a two-run homer in the bottom of the third. This great combination of pitching and hitting resulted in an 8-0 win for Southern and culminated another excellent weekend of softball for the Salukis.

After two flawless tournaments at home, SIU will travel to Murfreesboro, Tennessee this weekend as they’ll participate in the MTSU Softball Invitational from March 9-11. The Dawgs will attempt to continue their winning ways, first taking on Middle Tennessee Thursday at 5 pm.


Sports reporter Howard Woodard can be reached at [email protected].

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