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All hands are up welcoming Shaye Harre back to home after a home run during the Salukis' 4-1 loss Sunday to the Missouri State Bears at Charlotte West Stadium in Carbondale.

Ryan Michalesko, For The Southern

CARBONDALE — The SIU softball team will try to sew up the second seed at the Missouri Valley Conference tournament starting with a doubleheader Saturday against Missouri State.

The Salukis (27-22, 14-8 MVC) trail second-place Northern Iowa (29-18, 17-6) by two games in the loss column entering the final weekend of the regular season. SIU hosts the Lady Bears (22-22, 10-13) in a noon doubleheader Saturday and an 11 a.m. contest Sunday. 

All three games are scheduled to air on ESPN3. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for youth. Kids 12-and-under get in free. SIU students get in free with valid ID.

SIU's three seniors, pitcher/first baseman Shaye Harre, outfielder Merrianne Patterson and catcher Jessa Thomas, will be honored after Saturday's doubleheader. Harre became the Salukis' all-time RBI leader last weekend with her 149th.

Harre, a senior from Nashville, currently ranks second in school history in doubles, with 46, fifth in home runs with 30, and eighth in career batting average (.327). She will tie Becky Lis' school record for doubles with her next one. Harre has already set SIU's single-season walks record, with 50.

Patterson has five assists this season from the outfield and is batting .295 on the season. She is hitting .343 in Valley play, second on the team behind Maddy Vermejan's .346. Thomas, a Johnston City native, has started 22 of 28 games this season and 85 in her career.

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Sports reporter

Todd Hefferman has covered SIU athletics since 2008. A University of Iowa grad, he is a member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association and a Heisman Trophy voter.

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