Daily Egyptian

Saluki softball splits Valpo doubleheader

By Ryan Demer

In a pair of high-scoring affairs, Saluki softball split their doubleheader Friday afternoon against the Valparaiso Crusaders (15-14, 3-5), dropping the first in a tight 7-6 game and claiming the second 9-6.

Junior Brianna Jones toed the rubber in the first game, tossing all six innings with six strikeouts.

Freshman left fielder Megan Brown got things rolling for SIU, hitting a two-out RBI single in the first inning to score sophomores second baseman Maddy Vermejan and catcher Katelyn Massa.

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Vermejan came right back in the second with an RBI double to score junior first baseman Kyleigh Decker.

After Valpo scored on an RBI double in the second inning, Brown responded with a solo home run to widen the lead to 4-3.

However, the Crusaders answered back in the third with consecutive RBI hits to tie the game at 4-4 followed by a sacrifice fly to take the lead.

The lead wasn’t held for long, as Decker blasted a solo homer in the fourth to even the score at 5-5.

Junior designated hitter Jordan Spicer followed with a sacrifice fly in the fifth to score senior third baseman Sydney Jones and reclaim the 6-5 lead for Southern.

Valpo responded in the bottom half of the inning with a sacrifice fly of their own to tie the game.

In the sixth, the Crusaders cranked a solo homer to take the 7-6 lead which proved to be too much for the Salukis.

Senior Savanna Dover headed the circle for the second game, throwing the first five innings of the game.

Valpo continued where they left off from the first game in the second, dropping two runs in the first after a pair of RBI doubles.

The Crusaders followed in the second inning with an RBI groundout to take an early 3-0 lead.

It wasn’t until the fifth inning for the Saluki bats to begin producing when Massa hit an RBI single to score senior shortstop Savannah Fisher.

Freshman center fielder Jenny Jansen came right after with an RBI double to score senior outfielder Brittany Turner who was pinch running for Massa.

After Valpo answered in the fifth inning with a solo home run to widen its lead, Southern exploded in the sixth for six runs.

The scoring began when Jones scored on a wild pitch while the bases were loaded.

Fisher followed with a three-run blast to claim the lead for SIU.

A couple batters later, Massa hit a two-run homer to create the 8-4 Saluki lead.

Massa batted 3-8 on the day with two runs and three RBI.

Valpo had a strong effort in trying to come back, scoring two runs in the bottom of the sixth to narrow the Saluki lead.

However, Jones came back in the seventh inning to erase hopes of a comeback with a solo homer to give Southern the 9-6 lead.

Jones batted 3-7 on the day with three runs scored.

After starting the first game, Jones came back in the bottom of the seventh to relieve Brown and retire the side to secure the victory.

The Salukis (19-12, 4-3) continue action this Tuesday against SIUE. First pitch in Edwardsville is scheduled for 4 p.m.

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

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

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