SIU softball shuts out Murray State

SIU softball shuts out Murray State

By Jacob Gaertner, @JGaertnerDE

Saluki softball offense had a slow start Wednesday, but freshman pitcher Brianna Jones was dealing and got all the runs she needed.

SIU (24-12, 7-4 Missouri Valley Conference) beat Murray State (17-21, 7-7 Ohio Valley Conference) for the second time in seven days, winning 2-0 on Wednesday. 

“We played [Murray State] 10-5 last week, so it was kind of nice to play 2-0,” Saluki coach Kerri Blaylock said.


Jones (18-6, 2.07 ERA) recorded her ninth shutout of the season, en route to her 18th win, both of which lead MVC pitchers. Her nine shutouts tie her for second-most in Division I.

Murray State had opportunities early, but stranded a runner each of the first two innings. 

In the top of the third, the Racers loaded the bases with no outs, but a lineout and two pop-ups ended the strongest threat Murray had. 

SIU took Murray State’s momentum and immediately created its own. 

A two-base error in the bottom of the inning put senior shortstop Kelsey Gonzalez in scoring position with nobody out. Another Racer error sent her home for the first run of the game.

The one run would be all Jones needed.

“After we scored, I got settled down,” Jones said. “I knew they had my back, so I had to turn it over on defense.” 


Wednesday was the second time in two games where SIU took advantage of opposing errors. On Sunday’s series-clinching victory against Missouri State, three errors led to SIU’s first four runs of the game.

“I think it’s great, they went in for the kill, which is what we wanted to do,” Blaylock said.

The Dawgs added a second run in the fifth when junior outfielder Merri Anne Patterson scored on a sacrifice fly from Gonzalez. 

The freshman pitcher found her groove in the last three innings, setting down each batter that walked up to the plate.

Blaylock said once Jones settled in, she was hitting her spots and seemed more comfortable than she’s been the last couple of weeks.

Jones’ 18 wins on the season tie her for the most all-time for an SIU freshman. Amy Harre’s mark in 2002 stood alone before Wednesday.

SIU plays Indiana State at 12 and 2 p.m. Saturday at Charlotte West Stadium.

Jacob Gaertner can be reached at 618-536-3307.