Daily Egyptian

SIU softball suffers sweep at Missouri State

By Nathan Dodd, Sports Editor

Coming off a series loss to Indiana State over the weekend, the SIU softball team looked to rebound in a doubleheader against Missouri State (27-15, 12-4 MVC) on Wednesday.

However, Southern’s losing streak grew to three games as the Salukis were swept by the Bears with scores of 7-6 and 7-4.

Game One

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In the first matchup, junior pitcher Brianna Jones took the circle for the Salukis. However, luck was not on Jones’s side as she allowed seven runs, six earned, on nine hits, four walks and eight strikeouts.

Southern did provide Jones a lead in the first after two batters started the inning with base hits. Then, freshman center fielder Jenny Jansen drove in the games first run on an RBI single.

In the bottom of the inning senior second baseman Madison Jones led off with a single and was immediately driven in on an RBI triple by senior Erika Zimmer to knot the score up.

Junior catcher Darian Frost then gave the Bears the lead on a sacrifice fly to left field.

MSU continued to apply the pressure in the first when senior first baseman Kaitlin Beason cranked a solo home run and gave the Bears a 3-1 lead after one.

After a scoreless inning, the Salukis mounted a five-run third inning that began with a bases-loaded opportunity for sophomore catcher Katelyn Massa. On a shot to the shortstop, Massa reached on a fielder’s choice and picked up an RBI.

As Southern continued to play small ball and manufacture another run, it took the lead when freshman designated player Megan Brown launched a three-run homer, her sixth of the season.

The Bears made a comeback in their half of the third when three straight one-out singles plated a run that made the score 6-4.

Following a walk that loaded the bases, Jones walked another and cut the deficit to just one run.

One batter later, senior Allie Alvstad pinch hit and drew a walk that tied the game up once again.

Missouri State took a late lead in the fifth when two of the first three batters reached safely on a walk and single. Then, following a walk, freshman designated player Steffany Dickerson drove in the go-ahead run on a single.

Neither team mustered a run for the remainder of the contest as the score stuck at 7-6 in favor of the Bears.

Freshman Madison Hunsaker (5-0) earned the win with 4.1 innings pitched. She allowed only two hits and surrendered one run, five walks and struck out four.

Game Two

In the second game, senior pitcher Savannah Dover looked to turn Southern’s fortunes around as she toed the rubber.

After two scoreless innings, the Salukis jumped on the board first in the top of the third and gained Dover a lead to work with.

Two singles, a sac bunt and a stolen base put runners in scoring position for the Salukis with only out. Sophomore second baseman Maddy Vermejan gave Southern its first lead with an RBI single up the middle.

Then, after an intentional walk loaded the bases, SIU plated the second run on a wild pitch for a 2-0 lead.

The Salukis struck again in the fourth when senior shortstop Savannah Fisher extended the lead to three on a solo homer, her fifth of the season.

Held scoreless for four innings, MSU cracked the run column in the bottom of the fifth following a double and single to lead of the inning.

With runners on first and third, the Bears scored their first two runs on an error by Dover at short, prompting a call to the bullpen for Jones.

Jones worked out the inning but allowed MSU to tie the game on a sacrifice fly from freshman shortstop Daphne Plummer.

Southern regained the lead in the sixth after a batter was hit by a pitch and moved into scoring position on a sac bunt. Sophomore right fielder Susie Baranski drove in the go-ahead run on an RBI single up the middle.

With one out in the bottom of the seventh, it appeared that Jones and the Salukis would walk away with a split of the doubleheader. However, the Bears sparked a rally.

A single, an error and a hit batter set the stage for a walk-off opportunity for Missouri State.

The next batter, Frost, promptly launched a walk-off grand slam to center field and earned the Bears the 7-4 victory.

Jones (18-7) suffered the loss in the second game as well. She gave up four runs, three earned, on two hits through 2.1 innings of work.

The Salukis (22-18, 5-9 MVC) will travel to Bradley for a three-game series this weekend. First pitch for Saturday is scheduled for 12 p.m.

Sports editor Nathan Dodd can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @NathanMDodd.

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

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