April 9, 2009

Courtesy of Southern Illinois Athletics

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Clad in pink socks and armbands in support of Strikeout Cancer Day the No. 24 Saluki softball team (23-7) suffered a 9-1 five-inning set back at No. 10/11 Missouri (34-5) Wednesday afternoon at University Field.

The Tigers scored early and often, with a run in each of the first three innings, two in the fourth and four in the fifth, including a two-run home run which brought the game to an abrupt run-rule ending.

In contrast, SIU's offense was only able to scrounge together two hits and a walk, and tied a season-high with 10 strikeouts.

The Southern Illinois pitching staff, which had been the catalyst for the team's six-game win streak, was uncharacteristically roughed up for a season-high 12 hits and three home runs in the team's first defeat in more than two weeks.

The three home runs allowed also tied a season-high which was set against then No. 1 Alabama.

Sophomore Danielle Glosson gave up five runs on eight hits to take the loss, and senior Katie McNamara, who had only allowed one earned run in 59 2/3 innings this season, allowed four runs on four hits in 2/3 innings of relief.

Missouri's Stacy Delaney tossed four one-hit innings with eight strikeouts to pick up her ninth win.

The Tigers charged out to a quick 1-0 lead on three hits in the bottom of the first, but a great defensive play kept the damage to a minimum early on.

Leadoff hitter Rhea Taylor singled on a slow roller, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch to set up the game's first run on a sacrifice fly to right field.

Missouri went on to put runners on second and third with one out still in the first, but leftfielderKatie Schmidt snagged a line drive and threw Marla Schwisberger out at the plate for an inning-ending double play.

The Tigers added to their lead though in the second with another run on a pair of hits.

Two-straight singles, followed by another wild pitch put runners on second and third with no outs.

Glosson settled down however to retire the next three batters, but Missouri was able to score on one of the two groundouts to go up 2-0.

Things looked to be improving in the third after Glosson retired the leadoff hitter, but in the blink of an eye Schweisberger hit a high solo home run to left field to make it 3-0 after three innings.

Reigning Big 12 Player of the Week, catcher Megan Christopher, added a pair of runs on a two-run homer to left field in the fourth, and Missouri scored on a RBI-single, wild pitch and two-run home run by Ashley Fleming in the fifth to end the game.

Southern Illinois was able to manufacture a run in the top of the fifth from heads-up base running by Schmidt to cut down its deficit to 5-1.

Schmidt recorded the team's second hit, stole second base and while stealing third was able to scamper home on an errant throw.

Unfortunately the run and an earlier hit by sophomore Chelsea Held were the lone offensive bright spots during the afternoon.

The Salukis will look to rebound in MVC play with a three-game series at home against Missouri State. The series opens with a 3 p.m. doubleheader on Friday, April 10, and wraps-up with a single game on Saturday, April 11 at noon.