Saluki softball put a stop to a three-game skid on Wednesday after a 3-1 victory on the road at Murray State.
SIU got a big boost from its pitcher, Brianna Jones, who got back into the win column after failing to win in a game she started since March 25. On the offensive end, the Salukis got a brace from second baseman Maddy Vermejan.
"I'm really proud of the kids that we were 4-0 this year in non-conference mid-week games. That's something that we really wanted to work on," SIU coach Kerri Blaylock said. "Bri threw a good game and we played good defense. It took us a little while to get our bats going, but after the weekend we had, it took us a bit to get our feet under us. We did a good job hanging in there."
Jones got the start for SIU and settled in early. She allowed back-to-back hits to start the game before striking out back-to-back batters. She would go on to throw four-straight innings of no-hit ball.
While Jones was blanking Racer hitters, SIU's offense applied pressure. It put runners on in three of the first five innings and finally broke through in the fifth.
Kyleigh Decker led off the inning with a single, catcher Shelby Hodo followed up with a bunt and Decker beat the throw to second on the play to put runners on first and second. A sacrifice bunt from Savannah Fisher advanced both runners into scoring position. In the next at-bat, Vermejan belted a triple to the opposite field to score both baserunners. Susie Baranski flied out to left in the next at-bat to score Vermejan and put the Salukis up 3-0.
Vermejan was 2-4 on the day with two RBIs, a run scored and a triple. Decker was 2-3 with a run scored.
In the bottom of the sixth, Murray State plated its only run of the game off of an RBI single.
Jones earned the win behind a five-hit complete game in which she struck out six, walked two and allowed one run. With the win, she improved to 17-4 on the season.
"We made a switch to Jen Sewell calling pitches before the SEMO game. Bri has been in a really good rhythm since," Blaylock said. "We worked on some mechanical things and I feel really good about where she is at."
The Salukis play a doubleheader against Indiana State on Friday starting at 1 p.m.