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SIU outfielder Maris Boelens dives for the ball during a match up against the Indiana State Sycamores at Charolette West Stadium on Saturday in Carbondale.

CARBONDALE — Drake defeated SIU's softball team 4-1 Saturday to win the Missouri Valley Conference tournament and the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

The Salukis (31-22) managed only two hits against Drake pitcher Nicole Newman, the most outstanding pitcher in the Valley this season. Newman struck out 10, walked one and allowed one run in the sixth inning.

Brianna Jones took the loss for SIU in the circle, allowing seven hits and four runs, all earned. 

The top-seeded and host Bulldogs (43-10) shut out Valparaiso 2-0 in the tournament semifinals Friday.

todd.hefferman@thesouthern.com

618-351-5087

On Twitter: @THefferman

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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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