Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Grammy-worthy talent coming to 45th Sunset Concert Series beginning June 13
Grammy-worthy talent coming to 45th Sunset Concert Series beginning June 13
By Christi Mathis, SIU Communications • May 21, 2024

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Saluki softball huddles together before facing the California Golden Bears in the first round of the NCAA Regional May 17, 2024 at Tiger Park in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Photo provided by Saluki Athletics
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By Ryan Grieser, Sports Reporter • May 18, 2024

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Saluki softball huddles together before facing the California Golden Bears in the first round of the NCAA Regional May 17, 2024 at Tiger Park in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Photo provided by Saluki Athletics
Groff twins, defense send SIU to NCAA regional semifinals
By Ryan Grieser, Sports Reporter • May 17, 2024

Defense was the name of the game Friday as the SIU softball team took down the Cal Bears in the first round of NCAA Regionals in Baton Rouge,...

Saluki softball headlines Missouri Valley Conference awards

Six Salukis featured on All-MVC teams; Lis, Groff earn top honors
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Libby Phelps
Jackie Lis celebrates with her teammates after hitting a home run against Missouri State April 24, 2024 at Charlotte West Stadium in Carbondale, Illinois.

In a season that has already seen the team win the Missouri Valley Conference regular season championship, Saluki softball has plenty more conference accolades to add to the trophy case.

The MVC announced its All-Conference and Player of the Year awards on Wednesday, a majority of which were won by Southern Illinois players and coaches.

Jackie Lis won the Most Valuable Player award, while teammate Maddia Groff earned both Most Valuable Pitcher and Freshman of the Year. The Saluki coaching staff also received Valley honors.

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Lis followed up her dominant freshman campaign in 2023 with another year as one of the best shortstops in America. Among Valley batters, she ranks highly in each of the triple-slash statistics. Her .362/.489/.797 line ranks second, second and first in the MVC respectively. She also leads the league in runs scored (48).

Groff burst onto the scene in her collegiate debut with a seven-inning perfect game, the first in school history. Along with her twin sister and batterymate Rylinn, the freshman hurler has never looked back since that perfect start, leading the nation in wins with 28. Her 0.70 ERA ranks second in the country, and she ranks in the top-five in innings pitched with 190.2.

SIU also earned the Coaching Staff of the Year award under third-year head coach Jen Sewell, alongside Saluki Hall of Famer and associate head coach Mary Jo Firnbach and first-year pitching coach Katie Griffith.

The Missouri Valley Conference announced its All-Conference teams as well. Lis, Groff, and outfielder Elizabeth Warwick appear as first-team All-MVC at their respective positions, while the second team features first-baseman Sidney Jones, third baseman Rylie Hamilton and outfielder Emma Austin. Warwick was also a member of the All-Defensive team.

The Salukis turn the page to postseason play, entering the MVC Tournament as the No. 1 seed as favorites to repeat their tournament title run from 2023. Southern Illinois will take on No. 9 Murray State at 10 a.m. on Thursday at Marian Kneer Stadium in Normal, Illinois.

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