Salukis celebrate seniors, walk off series finale against Murray State


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.

Southern Illinois softball wrapped up its home regular season schedule this weekend, taking two out of three against the Murray State Racers (32-18, 16-8). The series win cements Southern’s top-six position in the Valley, holding a record of 13-11 in conference play and 32-15 overall.

The Salukis honored their seniors on Saturday, but it was junior Madi Eberle who starred on the mound. Eberle threw a complete-game allowing only one hit, the fewest she has ever allowed in a seven-inning game. Her no-hitter in February 2022 went only five innings.

Only one run crossed the plate in Saturday’s contest – driven in by Aubree DePron after a Rylie Hamilton triple in the 2nd inning – but that was all the Salukis needed as Eberle’s gem held a 1-0 lead until the end.


Friday’s opener was not as kind to Southern Illinois, as it suffered just its third home loss of the season. Both teams managed five hits on the afternoon, but while Murray State managed to plate four runners, the Salukis were shut out in a complete game by the Racers starter.

Sunday’s rubber match flipped the low-scoring series on its head, with an explosion of offense on both sides. Jackie Lis gave SIU another power surge, with two home runs and eight RBI to add to her season totals of 17 and 48 respectively. Her home run total is already a school record, and her eight runs batted in move her into a tie for fourth all-time in a single season.

After Lis’s first bomb tied the game at 2 in the bottom of the first, the Salukis added four more in the second to take a 6-2 lead. However, the Racers would respond with an eight-run fourth inning to completely flip the margin in their favor.

Down 11-7 in the bottom of the sixth, Lis made her mark again with a game-tying grand slam. Then in the seventh, Herrin native and senior Tori Schullian doubled and came around to score the winning run on a walkoff base hit by Elizabeth Warwick.

The Salukis finish their regular season home schedule with a record of 20-3, including a 17-game winning streak to begin the year. They will host the Missouri Valley Conference tournament May 10-13.

Before that, Southern will play one final weekend series on the road against Illinois State (27-21, 16-7) beginning on May 5. The Salukis have an opportunity to finish as high as fifth in the MVC standings, as they trail Indiana State by one game heading into the final weekend.

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


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