CARBONDALE — Southern Illinois University (30-22) capped the regular season by completing the sweep of Missouri State (22-25) Sunday, winning game three, 3-2.
Eyrika Brandeburg was the heroine, hitting a walk-off double in the bottom of the seventh to score Susie Baranski. It was the fourth consecutive win for the Salukis and the team's third sweep in Missouri Valley Conference play.
Nicole Doyle started and pitched three strong innings. She held the Bears to five hits and one run. Doyle finished the regular season with 77 strikeouts in 79 innings.
Southern got on the board first, scoring a couple in the bottom of the third. Shaye Harre started the rally with one-out double in the right center gap. The double made Harre SIU's all-time leader. She also tied tied the single-season record, with 17 doubles.
Sydney Jones was up two batters later and hit a liner off the pole in left field for her ninth homer of the season and second of the weekend.
In the fourth the Bears responded with a run of their own. MSU picked up two hits in the inning. Brianna Jones came in and shut down the Missouri State threat.
MSU tied the game in the fifth.
The game remained tied until the bottom half of the seventh.
With two outs, Susie Baranski swung at the first pitch, singling into left field, and then stole second base for her ninth swipe of the season. Baranski's single was her 53rd hit of the year, which is the most by a Saluki since Jayna Spivey's 55 hits back in 2014. Baranski is also the first freshman to lead the Salukis in hits since Alicia Garza in 2007.
Brandenburg took care of the rest. The Saluki sophomore launched a ball into the left center gap for a walk-off winner. She finished the weekend with four hits and three RBIs.
The win moved SIU's conference record to 17-8. It marks SIU's best conference mark since 2011.
SIU, winners of eight of their last 10, will head to the MVC tournament at Illinois State as the No. 3 seed. SIU will play in Missouri State or Drake at 1:30 p.m. Friday. The Salukis are a combined 6-0 against the Bears and Bulldogs this season, sweeping them both at home.