Saluki softball hit the ball well in the second day of the USF Under Armour Showcase in Clearwater, Florida. Southern defeated Rider 10-0, but fell 8-3 against UCF.
Against Rider, Southern opened the scoring in the second inning. Jenny Jansen got things going as the leadoff hitter with a single. In the next at-bat, Haley Andrus reached on an error by the Broncs' shortstop. A bunt single from Kyleigh Deckerloaded the bases for SIU. Two batters latter, Savannah Fisher stepped up and crushed a pitch to left for a grand slam. It was her third home run of the season and second in as many days.
In the third inning, the Salukis continued to pour it on. Katelyn Massa opened the inning with a walk. Jansen doubled in the next at-bat to move Meredith Wernig, who pinch ran for Massa, to third. Andrus followed Andrus's double with a single to score Wernig. Decker followed Andrus's single with one of her own to score Bailey Pulley who pinch ran for Andrus.
Overall, Fisher went 1-1 at the plate with a walk, two runs scored and five RBI; she was two short of tying the program record for RBI in a game.
After Fishers walk in the third, SIU's offense didn't slow down. Later in the inning, Brittany Turner singled and advanced to second on a throwing error by the second baseman. The error allowed Decker and Sydney Jones to score and make the score 9-0. Maddy Vermejan closed out the scoring in the inning with a sacrifice fly that scored Fisher.
In the game, Jansen went 2-3 with 2 runs scored and Decker was 2-2 with 2 runs scored and an RBI.
Against UCF, the Saluki bats stayed hot as the team continued to hit hard, however UCF made several defensive plays to rob SIU of hits.
UCF opened the scoring in the first inning when an RBI triple off of starter Savanna Dover in the first inning. The score remained 1-0 until the fifth inning when UCF scored four more to make the score 5-0. Dover was pulled from the game for pitcher Megan Brown in the fifth. Dover threw 4.1 innings, gave up 6 hits, allowed 5 runs and walked 3 and struck out 1.
In the sixth, Brown allowed a solo-home run to make the score 6-0.
In the bottom of the sixth, SIU finally got to UCF starter Alea White. Susie Baranski started the inning off with a single and advanced to second on a passed ball. In the next at-bat, Vermejan doubled to score Baranski from second. Two batters later, a single from Jansen and an error on the Golden Knight's right fielder allowed Vermejan to score to make the score 6-2. Jansen advanced to third by way of a steal. Andrus hit a sacrifice fly to center that allowed Jansen to score from third to make the score a much more manageable, 6-3.
Unfortunately, UCF put the game back out of reach in the top of the seventh with back-to-back solo-home runs to make the score 8-3.
With the win, UCF improved to 16-9 and the Salukis fell to 12-9. Southern closes out the weekend tomorrow against Maine looking to win four out of five games from the tournament.