Salukis sweep Indiana State Sycamores in three

By Tamar Mosby, Sports Reporter

This weekend the Dagws took on the Indiana State University Sycamores in a three game series.

Southern swept Indiana State winning the first game on Friday and the next two on Saturday.

The series this weekend marked the 102nd meeting of the two teams in a series that dates all the way back to 1976. After winning three games this weekend, SIU leads the Sycamore 76-28 in the all-time series.

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The Salukis entered this weekend’s matchup coming off of a loss from another conference competitor, the Missouri State Bears.

Game 1: The first game of the series took place on Friday and the Dawgs proved that coming off of a previous loss did not phase them as they won it 5-1.

The game was scoreless on both sides for the first three innings until the Sycamore knocked one out of the park to make the score 1-0.

After the run from Indiana State, it took the Dawgs two more innings to get on the board. This was thanks to senior first baseman Jordan Spicer’s two run homer in the top of the sixth making it a 2-1 game.

“I thought Bri threw a heck of a game and we made some incredible defensive plays,” said Saluki head coach Kerri Blaylock. “Maddy, Jenny and Katelyn were on point all day and we just needed that one big hit and Jordan Spicer came through with it.”

The Sycamores (14-26, MVC 2-13) remained scoreless for the rest of the game and SIU capitalized on this, recording two more runs in the 7th and final inning of the game. This came from a two run double by junior catcher Katelyn Massa and a one run single from sophomore right fielder Megan Brown.

These runs helped the Dawgs clench the 5-1 win to get the ball rolling in the series.

Amazing defense by Southern, led by freshman infielder Sidney Sikes held the Terre Haute team to just one run and kept the Salukis in the game.

Offense was not lacking on the Dawgs’ end as well as eight of the nine starting batters for SIU recorded hit and two batters went two-for-two.

“When you have an eight-hole hitter like Kyleigh Decker and a seven-hole hitter like Jordan Spicer who both have multiple home runs on the season, that’s very helpful all the way thRough the lineup,” Blaylock said.

Game 2: The second game of the series kicked off at noon on Saturday.

Unlike the first game, the Salukis got off to a quick start scoring three runs to be the first on the board in the top of the third inning from two individual RBI singles and one loaded base walk.

After a scoreless fourth, an RBI single in the fifth inning from sophomore Shelby Hodo and another in the sixth from sophomore infielder Jenny Jansen gave the Dawgs a 5-0 lead leaving the Sycamores in the dust.

Neither team scored in the final inning of the game, but by this point in the game Southern had already secured the win with the final score being 5-0.

In this game, junior ace Claire Miller threw a two hit shutout to fuel the Saluki win.

Game 3: The third game of the series took place later Saturday evening.

The Dawgs got off to their fastest start of the weekend during this game as they score four uns in the first inning of the game. The first run came on a solo homer from junior infielder Maddy Vermejan. Three walks loaded the bases for SIU and Spicer brought two of the three runners home with an RBI double, while freshman Ashley Wood brought another home with a sacrifice fly.

After a quick start, things slowed down for Southern as the team went scoreless in the next four innings of the game. The Sycamore strug together two runs during the Saluki drought scoring one run in the fourth and another in the fifth.

In the sixth inning, things heated up once again for the Dawgs as Hodo hit an RBI single with the bases loaded and Vermejan followed with an RBI double to push the score to 7-2. The team did not stop at this performance. They ended the inning with a grand slam from Jansen to make it 10-2.

Indiana State ended the inning with two runs and this pushed the score to 10-4.

Neither team was able to tally more points in the seventh inning which gave Southern the win at 10-4 allowing them to complete the three game sweep.

This sweep of the Terre Haute team is SIU’s first since 2011 and the Dawgs left the series hoping to keep the winning energy going.

“We haven’t swept them since 2011, so to get this sweep was huge for us,” Blaylock said. “Our play defensively and our pitching set the tone but offensively we were pretty good as well. To get our third-straight sweep in conference play and to do it on the road is pretty big. We need to keep it rolling.”

The Salukis (26-10, MVC 11-4) will take the field again in Cape Girardeau, Missouri this Tuesday to take on the SEMO Redbirds. First pitch is scheduled for 5 pm.

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

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