Daily Egyptian

Saluki softball sweeps Bradley Braves in doubleheader

By Dillon Gilliland, Sports Reporter

Saluki softball opened a three-game series with the Bradley Braves on Saturday that began with a doubleheader.

Southern swept the Braves (16-25, 5-11 MVC) in the doubleheader 5-4 and 18-10, snapping a three-game losing streak.

Game 1

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SIU found themselves trailing early as junior left fielder Megan Mahaffy sent a three-run home run over the wall to put the Braves ahead 3-0 after one.

Sophomore first baseman Kyleigh Decker gave Southern its first run of the game in the second with a solo homer to right.

After a single to put a runner on first, senior left fielder Savannah Fisher leveled the playing field with a two-run homer, making it 3-3 after two.

After two scoreless innings, SIU found its first lead of the game with a single followed by a double for a 4-3 lead.

Later in the sixth, Bradley evened the score as sophomore first baseman Allison Apke homered.

Sophomore catcher Katelyn Massa gave SIU the game-winning run in the final inning with a solo home run to take the 5-4 win. Massa finished 2-4 with one run and one RBI.

Junior starting pitcher Brianna Jones (19-7) took the win after pitching the complete game with five hits, four earned runs and four strikeouts.

Game 2

The Salukis looked to take charge early in the second game as sophomore second baseman Maddy Vermejan smashed a two-run shot in the opening inning.

The Braves answered back in the same inning as they singled, walked and were driven in on another home run, this one from freshman third baseman Stacia Seeton for a 3-2 lead.

SIU took its lead right back in the second as Vermejan nailed another two-run homer for a 4-3 lead.

Bradley responded in the fourth with a big inning as its loaded the bases. A single to advanced the runners and knotted the game at four each.

After a hit by pitch and a single, Bradley scored four more runs for an 8-4 lead after four.

The Salukis responded with a big inning of their own as they walked one and put up back-to-back doubles to bring them within two.

With another walk and one last single in the inning, the Salukis tied the score at eight runs each.

After a run from each team in the sixth, SIU went all out in the final inning as they loaded up the bases only to walk one in and take a 10-9 lead.

With a double by Vermejan, Southern racked up three more runs to stretch their lead to four. Vermejan finished the game 3-5 with three runs and seven RBI.

SIU scored two more runs off of fielder’s choice and single, followed by a homer by senior pinch hitter Haley Andrus to extend the lead to 18-9.

Bradley added one run in the final inning, but it was not enough as the Salukis took the 18-10 win, sweeping the doubleheader.

Jones (20-7) took the win after pitching three innings with two earned runs on five hits.

SIU (24-19, 7-10 MVC) will close out the three-game series tomorrow. First pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m.

Sports reporter Dillon Gilliland can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @DillonGilliland.

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