Sixteen years after she played her final game for the SIU softball team, Becky Lis is going to the one place fans expected her to all along.
The Saluki Hall of Fame.
Lis, along with former SIU softball pitcher Cassidy Scoggins, is part of a six-person 2013 class that will be formerly inducted in a Feb. 15 ceremony. Known for her swing and reputation as one of the program’s most prolific hitters, it’s been a long time coming for Lis.
“I actually cried,” Lis said of her reaction to hearing the news of her induction. “I was just really surprised and excited at the same time. I was really overwhelmed.”
Lis starred at third base for the Salukis from 1994 to 1997, a time period when the program’s rise to prominence was beginning. A two-time All-Missouri Valley Conference First Team selection, she ranks first in program history in career batting average (.362) and doubles (47), while ranking second in career hits (221) and triples (18).
One of Lis’s records fell during the 2011 season, as Mallory Duran-Sellers set a new single-season runs scored record with 54. Duran-Sellers, perhaps a future Hall of Famer herself, then broke her own record with 61 during the 2012 campaign.
“Becky was trained by her dad, Joe, who ran a baseball facility over in Evansville,” said SIU coach Kerri Blaylock. “She grew up playing baseball and had an unbelievable swing, one of the best I’ve ever seen.
“She would be as great in 2013 as she was back then.”
Blaylock said Lis was one of a group of players who helped build the foundation for the current program’s success. That foundation exists now in the form of Charlotte West Stadium, which was completed in 2003 and hosted the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference tournament for the third time last year.
“I ate, drank and slept softball,” Lis said. “I had two older brothers and I was basically a tomboy. (My brothers) would get whiffleball games going and would tease me that I was the only girl, yet I was never the last one picked.”
The Salukis recorded a winning record in all four seasons during Lis’s career, including winning 41 games during the 1997 season. SIU beat Mississippi, Oklahoma, Georgia Tech, Michigan and Missouri en route to a 41-16 finish.
“We were just a great team,” Lis said. “I remember beating Mizzou when they were ranked in the top 10 and beating Florida State when they were ranked in the top 10.
“We would come together and beat great teams.”
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