Daily Egyptian

Salukis’ short ball can’t overcome Billikens’ long ball

By Brent Meske, @brentmeskeDE

SIU softball (12-17-1) dropped a make-up game from March 18 to Saint Louis (24-12), 6-7 Monday night. 

The Billikens scored five of their seven runs on home runs, while the Salukis used small ball to battle back after trailing 5-0 in the third. Both teams sent their aces to the mound, but neither would pick up a decision.

Coach Kerri Blaylock said she was happy with the comeback. 

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“I thought it was a game we deserved to win,” she said. 

Saluki senior starting pitcher Katie Bertelsen finished with 5 earned runs on 7 hits, 4 walks and 1 strikeout in 2.2 innings. Billiken junior Brianna Lore—who no hit the Salukis on March 26 last year—was pulled from the game after 4.2 innings with 5 earned runs on 9 hits, 1 walk and 3 strikeouts. 

Saint Louis got out to a quick start with 2 home runs, 2 singles and 2 walks for 4 runs including a three-run home run from Lore in the top of the first inning. 

Bertelsen settled in for the second inning before allowing the another home run in the third inning to freshman first baseman Alyssa Tarquinio. 

Freshman Savanna Dover (1-5) entered the game for the Salukis and picked up the loss, allowing 2 runs, neither earned, on 1 hit, 3 walks and 1 strikeout. 

Blaylock said she was happy with Dover’s pitching, regardless of the result.

“[Dover] threw great, so I’m taking the positives right now,” she said. “Now she needs to figure out how to finish a game.” 

The Salukis cut the Billiken lead to three in the bottom of the fourth inning with RBI singles from junior designated player Lacey Newbold and senior pinch hitter Meredith Wilson. 

A fifth inning of 3 runs and 4 hits for the Salukis tied the game 5-5 as senior center fielder Kalyn Harker, sophomore left fielder Merri Anne Patterson and sophomore first baseman Shaye Harre all came around to score in the inning. 

The Salukis added one more in the sixth on a Harre RBI single.

Dover hit the first batter of the seventh inning and walked the next batter, forcing Harre to come in to pitch. Senior center fielder Lindsay Friedman put the Billikens back on top with a two-out, two-RBI single up the middle. 

Junior Laney Kneib allowed a Newbold double with one out but retired junior pinch hitter Caylee Cook and freshman right fielder Savannah Dover to improve to 6-0 on the season.

Kneib finished the game with 1 run allowed on 4 hits.  

The Salukis travel to Cape Girardeau for a 4 p.m. game Wednesday against Southeastern Missouri State. 

Brent Meske can be reached at [email protected] or at 536-3311 ext. 269. 

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