SIU softball splits first doubleheader

By Ryan Demer, Sports Reporter

SIU softball began its season Friday with a split in the first day of the UTSA Softball Classic.

In the first game, the Salukis defeated the Abilene Christian University Wildcats 8-5 and lost the second to the University of Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners, 6-4.

Game One


ACU began the game with a 2-out solo home run in the top of the first inning that gave the Wildcats the early 1-0 lead.

Sophomore right fielder Susie Baranski responded with a lead-off double to begin the bottom half of the first for SIU.

After a sac bunt by freshman left fielder Maris Boelens moved her to third base, sophomore second baseman Maddy Vermejan drove Baranski in on an RBI groundout.

From there, sophomore catcher Katelyn Massa hit a solo home run to that claimed the lead for Southern. Massa finished the day 3-7 with two RBI.

After junior pitcher Briana Jones worked her way out of a jam, Southern’s offense went to work in the second inning and plated six runs.

Senior captain third baseman Sydney Jones got things going with a leadoff single and scored immediately after a double by junior first baseman Kyleigh Decker.

After the RBI double, ACU allowed consecutive walks which resulted in RBIs for the Salukis.


Vermejan — who finished the game 3-6 with one RBI — plated a run with a single while the bases were still loaded.

Then, Jones came back around the order to bat again and delivered with a two-out two-RBI double. She finished the day 3-6 with three RBI and a home run.

After they were held scoreless in the third and fourth innings, the Wildcats staged a rally in the top of the fifth inning and scored four runs, capitalizing on Saluki fielding errors.

After two runners scored on an error, two more scored after ACU belted a two-out home run.

Jones battled back on the mound, however, and retired the next six batters on route to victory. She pitched seven complete innings and allowed five runs — one of them earned — nine strikeouts and two walks.

Game 2

Junior pitcher Savannah Dover toed the rubber in the second matchup for the Salukis against UTSA, the host of the Classic.

SIU allowed UTSA to score one run in the bottom of the first inning with a home run.

Sydney Jones responded immediately with a lead-off home run in the top of the second inning hat tie the game.

However, UTSA junior center fielder Bailee Baldwin cranked her second homer in as many at-bats in the third inning to regain the lead for the Roadrunners.

In the fourth inning, UTSA continued to pad its lead after an RBI triple.

After SIU walked the next batter, the Roadrunners properly executed a double-steal that brought the runner from third home for a 4-1 lead.

Senior shortstop Savannah Fisher knocked a solo shot over the wall that shortened the lead in the top half of the fifth.

However, UTSA continued to add onto its lead in the fifth inning and scored two runs on a fielding error.

After a scoreless sixth inning, Southern was faced with a four-run deficit heading into the last inning.

Vermejan was hit by a pitch with two outs in the seventh, which set up a two-run blast for freshman center fielder Jenny Jansen, the first of her career.

Southern could not complete the two-out rally, however, and popped out to end the game.

The Salukis will continue play in the UTSA Softball Classic on Saturday with a doubleheader against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and a rematch against ACU. First pitch against A&M is scheduled for 9 a.m. while the game against ACU is scheduled for 11:30 a.m.

Sports writer Ryan Demer can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @RyanDemer_DE

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