Southern Illinois Downs Illinois State, 3-0, in MVC Semifinals
May 11, 2007
NORMAL, Ill. - Southern Illinois senior pitchers Ashley Hamby and Cassidy Scoggins shut out the powerful Illinois State lineup over seven innings in the third-seeded Salukis' 3-0 victory over the second-seeded Redbirds in semifinal action of the 2007 Missouri Valley Conference Championship Friday in Normal, Ill.
Hamby, who won her 17th game, went the opening four and one-third innings, allowing only four hits while striking out three. Scoggins relieved Hamby and went the last 2.2 innings giving up just two hits and recording one punch out. The Saluki duo combined to strand eight ISU base runners.
Southern Illinois improves its overall record to 40-13 overall on this season, while Illinois State finishes with a 42-15-1 mark.
Southern Illinois tallied the first run of the game in the top of the third inning when center fielder Krystal Stein scored with one out on a fielder's choice. Stein reached base on an infield single hit towards ISU second baseman Tiffany Prager. Stein advance to second on Shannon Nicholson's throwing error attempting a force out off the bat of Tiffanie Dismore that was wide of second base. The Redbirds thought they had Stein stopped at third base on a ground ball by Becky Wegmann, but third baseman Kara Nelson was a step short of the bag attempting the force out. Stein finally scored when Saluki second baseman Alicia Garza hit into the team's third fielder's choice of the inning.
In the top of the fourth, SIU tacked on a second run off of Nicholson when third baseman Katie Wagner hit a sharp single up the middle that scored right fielder Katie Wilson. Wilson reached base by doubling to right field on the first offering she saw from Nicholson.
The Salukis tacked on an insurance run in the top of the fifth when catcher Jayme Wamsley hit a deep sacrifice fly to right field off ISU reliever Stacy Birk that scored Dismore with the bases loaded and one out. Dismore led off the inning with her second hit of the day.
Southern Illinois advances to face Creighton in Saturday's championship game. First pitch between the Salukis and the Bluejays is slated for 1:30 p.m.