The SIU softball team split two games at the UTSA Softball Classic in San Antonio, Texas for the second-straight day Saturday.

SIU (2-2) won the opening game of the day, a 5-1 win over Texas A&M – Corpus Christi (1-2) thanks to a few home runs and a dominant pitching performance. In the second game, SIU fell victim to dominant pitching when the Salukis were no-hit in a 9-0 loss to Abilene Christian (2-2).

"This was a tale of two games," head coach Kerri Blaylock said. "In one game we played really, really well. In the other game we got it handed to us on all levels. Its early in the season and we're figuring some things out."

In the day's opening game, the Salukis opened the scoring in the top of the third inning when Susie Baranski logged the Salukis first hit off a bloop-single to left-center. In the next at-bat, Maddy Vermejan crushed a 1-1 pitch over the left field wall to put SIU up 2-0.

Baranski was 2-3 with a walk and a run scored in the first game of the day.

SIU scored again in the fourth when Kyleigh Decker tripled to right field with one out. Two batters later, shortstop Savannah Fisher hit an RBI single up the middle to score Decker from third and put the Salukis out front 3-0.

SIU scored five runs on seven hits in the day's opening game. The Salukis scored 17 runs in their first three games of the season.

For as good as SIU's offense was in the day's first game, Brianna Jones was even better. Jones pitched her second-straight complete game allowing just one run on and striking out eight Islanders. She's struck out 17 batters in her first two wins of the season.

In SIU's second game, Abilene Christian's starter, senior pitcher Hannah Null was nearly perfect. She held the Salukis hitless and only allowed one base runner when she hit Vermejan with a pitch in the top of the fourth. The Wildcat hurler struck out seven Salukis in the five-inning game.

Senior Savanna Dover started for the Salukis and pitched two and two-thirds of an inning allowing seven runs on four hits and two walks. Just four of the runs were counted as earned.

"At the Division I level, you have to be able to adjust. There are things you can't control, the weather, when you play if you can practice outside and if you can't. You have to learn to deal with those things," Blaylock said. "We're young. We're figuring things out and I feel like we have a really solid base. I think we have the opportunity to be really good."

SIU closes out the UTSA softball classic today when it faces off against Seton Hall at 9 a.m.


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