Softball falls to Creighton Bluejays, nine game win streak ends


Carson VanBuskirk | @carsonvanbDE

Saluki junior infielder Maddy Vermejan, of Lemont, tags second and throws to first base on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019, during the Salukis’ 2-1 loss to Creighton at Charlotte West Stadium.

Saluki Softball ended their first home slate and their nine game win streak Sunday as they took on Creighton University Blue Jays and the Ohio University Bobcats for the second time this weekend.

The Dawgs went 1-1 on the day as they fell to Creighton in a 2-1 loss and defeated Ohio in the next matchup 2-1. On the weekend Southern went 3-1.

“We didn’t quite strike it as well this weekend, but we did a lot of other good things,” said Saluki head coach Kerri Blaylock. “You take your wins. We’re 10-3 and two of our losses are by one run. We’re playing well, we just have to keep on grinding. It’s a long season.”


Game 1 (Creighton)

The Salukis first matchup of the day was against the Creighton University Blue Jays.

The Dawgs played the Blue Jays (6-7) on Friday afternoon defeating them 1-0 in a tough game which came down to the a last minute run in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Sophomore pitcher Holly Marousek threw in this windy day game for the Dawgs. This game gave the sophomore her first loss of the season.

“I’m really proud of how Holly threw today because she had had a couple of rough starts,” Blaylock said. “She really commanded things today. The ball that we let drop on the infield really cost her or we win a 1-0 game there.”

This game remained scoreless until the top of the fourth inning when an error by Southern’s defense on a pop up fly ball allowed Creighton to score two runs.

A stolen third base and advance to home plate on the next play by SIU junior Kyleigh Decker seemed to put the Salukis back in the game with the score at 2-1, but the Blue Jays’ relief pitcher discouraged any hopes of another run.

The rest of the game was scoreless on both ends and Southern (9-3) suffered a devastating 2-1 loss ended their current nine game win streak.

Decker was the only team member to complete a hit during the game as she led the Dawgs with two hits and one run.

Game 2 (Ohio)

In game two, the Salukis faced off with the Ohio University Bobcats pulling out a 2-1 win to sweep them on the weekend.

Just as in the first game of the day, the matchup remained scoreless until the fourth inning, but this time around the Dawgs were the first to sound off scoring one run in the bottom of the inning.

Decker came through again for SIU as she was the one to score the first run of the game when she slammed a solo homer out of the park for the first time this season.

In the top of the next inning, the Saluki defense was able hold off the Bobcats to keep their score at zero. Senior Eyrika Brandenburg hit a single to centerfield to score her teammate, junior Maddy Vermejan, in the bottom of the same inning. This run put the Southern up 2-0 on Ohio.

Despite the Bobcats scoring one run in the seventh, the deal had already been sealed by SIU as they left the field victorious with the 2-1 win.

In this matchup, three Saluki players earned hits and two earned RBI’s. Decker led once again with one run, one hit, and one RBI.

This Southern win pushed senior pitcher Brianna Jones’ record to 8-1. The senior struck out 11 batters this weekend.

“Bri didn’t feel like she had all her stuff today, but I thought she managed it really well and got through it,” said Blaylock.

Saluki Softball will be back in action again next weekend in their own stadium as they compete in the Coach B Classic. In this tournament the Dawgs will face off against Kentucky, Saint Louis, Wichita State and Murray State.

“We’re still feeling our way,” Blaylock said. “We need to understand that we’re pretty good and we need to remain confident, because (the offense) is going to bust through for us.”

Sports reporter Tamar Mosby can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @mosbytamar.

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