SIU swept by UNI, fall to 6-3 in MVC

By Brent Meske, @brentmeskeDE

The Salukis played their first Missouri Valley Conference games on the road and limped away with three losses.

SIU softball (11-14-1, 6-3 MVC) came into the weekend series against Northern Iowa (12-16, 6-2 MVC) batting .357—the best in the MVC—but managed three hits in three games.

In games one and three, Panthers’ junior pitcher Chelsea Ross—last week’s MVC Pitcher of the Week—silenced the Saluki bats, including a no-hitter in game one of the series. Ross (9-9) finished the games with a combined 1 hit, 14 strikeouts, 5 walks and 1 hit-by-pitch in 11 innings of work. 

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Senior pitcher Katie Bertelsen (9-7) picked up the losses against Ross and finished the games with 16 runs allowed, 15 of which were earned, in 10 innings pitched. She gave up 18 hits, 8 walks, 7 strikeouts and 3 hit batters. 

In game one, an 8-0 loss, Bertelsen held the Panthers to 3 runs through the first four innings. A four-run fifth paved the way for senior third baseman Rikki Alcaraz’s leadoff home run to run-rule the Salukis in the bottom of the sixth. Alcaraz finished the game 3-for-4 with 2 RBIs and 1 run scored. 

Junior left fielder Merri Anne Patterson was the only Saluki to draw multiple walks and senior third baseman Brook Womack was the only player not to strike out.

The Salukis managed two of their three hits for the weekend in game two Saturday. Junior shortstop Kelsey Gonzalez led off the game with a hit, but the Salukis would only collect one more—Patterson’s fourth inning home run—en route to a 9-1 defeat.

The Panthers scored 5 runs on 5 hits in the second inning and added another in the fourth before run-ruling the Salukis again by scoring three in the fifth inning.

Senior second baseman Julia Hunter led the way for the Panthers going 2-for-2 with 4 RBIs, 1 run scored and 1 walk.

Sophomore pitcher Shaye Harre (1-3) picked up the loss after allowing 5 runs—4 earned—on 6 hits in 1.2 innings. Freshman Savanna Dover relieved Harre and finished with 4 runs allowed on 2 hits and 5 walks in 2.2 innings.

Sophomore Alyssa Buchanan (3-5) continued the dominant pitching for the Panthers with a 5-inning, 2-hit, 1-run, 2-walks outing.

In game three, Patterson was the only Saluki to pick up a hit against Ross when she singled in the fifth inning of the 8-0 loss. 

The Panthers started with 2 home runs, including a grand slam, for 7 runs in the first inning. They scored the final run in the bottom of the fifth to run-rule the Salukis for the third time in as many games. 

The Salukis host SIU-Edwardsville at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Charlotte West Stadium. 

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

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