Sycamores stun Salukis with series win

By Tony McDaniel

SIU softball played in its final weekend series of the year: a series that had major postseason implications for both teams.

Indiana State University took the series win two games to one, spurred on by strong Sycamore pitching and lackluster performances from the Saluki hitters.

In the first game Saturday, Indiana State outplayed the Dawgs in a 4-3 victory.

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Sycamore first baseman Megan Stone started the scoring in the top of the first inning with a three-run homerun. The Salukis answered back with a run of their own in the bottom of the frame to make the score 3-1.

During the bottom of the fifth inning, SIU scored twice when sophomore shortstop Kelsey Gonzalez doubled to score two Salukis and tied the game at three apiece.

Coach Kerri Blaylock moved freshman Merri Anne Patterson to left field in the sixth and inserted junior Meredith Wilson in right field. Patterson and Wilson each had errors in the inning, which allowed Indiana State to score the winning run, leaving the score 4-3.

The Salukis’ bats came to life to lead them to a 6-2 win in game two.

Senior pitcher Taylor Orsburn led the team on offense and in the circle in the series’ second game.

Orsburn started for the Salukis and continued to be dominant in her new role as starting pitcher. She pitched all seven innings allowing two runs on seven hits to lower her conference leading ERA to 2.27.

Orsburn also scored SIU’s first three runs of the game with a three-run homerun in the bottom of the second inning.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, senior Jayna Spivey hit a two-run homerun to give SIU a 5-2 lead.

The Salukis won the game 6-2 to give SIU a win on senior day, and a first round bye in next weekend’s Missouri Valley Conference tournament.

The Salukis only managed two hits in a 3-0 loss in Sunday’s game.

Indiana State’s series win over the Dawgs was the first one since 1986. The Sycamores’ record of 27-26 is the team’s first winning record in 22 years.

SIU will travel to Bloomington to play as the three seed in the MVC tournament starting Thursday.

Tony McDaniel can be reached at [email protected], on Twitter @tonymcdanielDE or 536-3311 ext. 282

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