Saluki softball splits first two games against Illinois state


Senior first basewoman Shaye Harre directs another player during a play Friday, March 3, 2017, during SIU’s 1-7 loss to the University of Kentucky at Charlotte West Stadium. (Morgan Timms | @Morgan_Timms)

After a major comeback secured Illinois State a victory in its first series game against the Salukis, SIU learned its lesson, holding the Redbirds off to split the series on Saturday in Normal.

Illinois State got on the board quickly Saturday morning in the bottom of the first with five hits and one run scored off sophomore pitcher Brianna Jones.

But in the top of the third the Salukis came back with three runs within just a half-inning.


Merri Anne Patterson started off the scoring with a single, followed by a single hit from freshman catcher Katelyn Massa.

The result of that brought both senior first baseman Shaye Harre and Patterson home to give the Salukis a 3-1 lead.

In the top of the fifth inning, Harre led off with a double, followed by Patterson, who also hit a double, but all scoring opportunities were lost and the score remained 3-1 Salukis at the middle of the fifth.

Savannah Fisher hit a solid homer to left field, bringing the score to 4-1 for the Dawgs in the top of the eighth inning.

Freshman Susie Baranski followed Fisher in her first home run of the season for another score advancement, 5-1 Salukis.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Redbirds came back to score one run off a single hit to bring senior Annie Heineman home, but ISU still trailed Southern, 5-2.

Because of errors, the Salukis scored two more runs in the top of the seventh inning after junior Haley Andrus singled.


In the bottom of the seventh inning, Jones allowed four runs to be scored with just one out to go for the end of the first game of the double header with the score tied at 7-7.

Sophomore Nicole Doyle was brought in to close the game with just one more out to go for the Salukis in the seventh inning.

The Salukis took the Redbirds to extra innings, but it was all over in the bottom of the eighth with a walk off single scored by junior Riley Strandgard, bringing the score 8-7, Redbirds.

Southern played much better in the second matchup, coming out with the victory.

After an uneventful first two innings, the Salukis scored four runs in the third — all while having two batters retire early.

An RBI single by Patterson got things going for SIU, then a three-run home run by Massa put the Salukis up 4-0.

In the next inning the Salukis continued rolling as Patterson hit a grand slam, extending SIU’s lead to 8-0.

Later in the same inning, senior catcher Jessa Thomas had an RBI single to give Southern a 9-0 advantage.

The Redbirds showed signs of life at the tail end of the fourth inning when they loaded the bases and a passed ball error led to their first score.

Then sophomore Allison Spence hit a double RBI to cut the deficit 9-3 going into the fifth inning.

ISU made quick work of the Salukis in the top of the fifth, allowing no runs.

In the bottom of the fifth a two-run homerun by senior catcher Jordan de los Reyes continued Illinois State’s comeback bid, cutting the score to 9-5.

The Salukis didn’t allow a repeat of their last game as Massa hit a two-run home run —her second of the game — to extend Southern’s lead 11-5.

That was all the offense SIU was able to muster in the sixth. The Redbirds responded as senior Annie Heineman hit a solo homerun as the lead batter.

The Salukis recovered quickly and finished off the Redbirds’ next three batters to retire the side.

Southern padded its score one more time before the end of the game as freshman right fielder Baranski scored for the Salukis — senior pitcher Harre was awarded the RBI.

ISU was only able to score once more in the final inning, thus securing a 12-7 victory for SIU. Massa and Patterson contributed a combined 10 RBI’s for SIU.

Junior pitcher Savanna Dover earned the win.

The Salukis look to close the series out against the Redbirds with a win at 11 a.m. Sunday back in Normal.

Sports reporter Gabriella Scibetta can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @gscibetta_DE.

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Staff writer Jonathan Thompson can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @TheReal_Jt3.

To stay up to date with all your SIU softball news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.