Saluki softball drops weekend series to Belmont


Erin Lee (24) goes down for the tag as Kaiah Fenters (17) of Valparaiso attempts to steal as the Salukis took on the Beacons at home in a weekend series Mar. 19, 2023 at Charlotte West Stadium in Carbondale, Ill.

Southern Illinois softball split a double-header against the Belmont Bruins (16-12) on Saturday, and fell 4-3 in the rubber match on Sunday. It is the first time in 2023 that Saluki softball has lost a series.

The two losses broke an eight-game winning streak, and a ended stretch where SIU had won 18 of its last 19 games.

In Saturday’s opener, Madi Eberle pitched six innings of two-run ball, earning her ninth win of the season in a 5-2 Saluki victory. Elliott Stinson picked up her first save, stranding the bases loaded to end the game.


The second game of the day’s double-header saw SIU’s winning ways put to a halt by a three-run sixth inning to give Belmont an 8-5 win. Each of the Salukis’ five runs came in the fourth inning, on home runs by Jackie Lis, Anna Carder and Sidney Jones. The latter two came on back-to-back at-bats.

However, the Bruins were able to match Southern’s power output with three home runs of their own, including two in the bottom of the sixth to give them the lead.

Sunday’s finale saw more late-inning heroics from the Bruins, as a Emily Cockrill launched a walk-off leadoff solo home run in the seventh to clinch the series for Belmont. This came after SIU rallied to tie the game at 3-3 in the top of the seventh, and left runners stranded at second and third.

Stinson was on the mound for the game-winning hit, having worked 2.2 innings on Sunday after closing Game 1 and starting Game 2 on Saturday. The loss was just her second on the year, knocking her record down to 8-2

Jackie Lis continued her power trip from last week’s historic three-homer game against Valparaiso, with home runs in each of the final two games in this weekend’s series. Her home run total is now up to 12 on the season, moving her into a tie for fourth in school history. The single-season record is currently held by Katie Jordan, Maria Damico and Katie Wilson, all with 14.

The team will return home this week, hosting Southeast Missouri State (14-8) on Tuesday before welcoming Indiana State (17-12) into town over the weekend.

Staff reporter Brandyn Wilcoxen can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @BrandynWilcoxen.


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