Softball sweeps La Salle; 1-1 vs. SEMO

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Softball sweeps La Salle; 1-1 vs. SEMO

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The Billiken softball team improved to 12-5 in the Atlantic 10 Conference regular season after sweeping La Salle in a three-game series this past weekend, April 18-19, at Billiken Sports Center.

After a tough loss to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville on April 15, the sweep gives the Bills momentum to continue to power through the last two weeks of the regular season and into the conference tournament the first week of May.

In the first game on April 18, the Explorers earned the first run of the game in the second inning, despite the Bills’ catcher tagging a runner out at home.  SLU struck in the second, slipping in two unearned runs from freshman Alyssa Tarquinio and sophomore Hailey Weavers.  Junior pitcher Brianna Lore notched another run for the Billikens in the third, giving SLU a 3-1 lead.

SLU kept things alive in the fourth with a run from senior Lindsay Friedman.  She walked, stole second and survived a double play to push the Billiken lead to 4-1.

La Salle worked its way back into the game in the top of the sixth inning, starting with an error from SLU’s third baseman.  The Billikens finished out the sixth inning strong  on offense, despite the error.  Friedman singled to the pitcher and junior Elizabeth Everingham doubled to center field to score Friedman.

The Explorers remained at two runs in the top of the seventh, giving SLU the first win in the series 5-2.   

In the second matchup later that afternoon, SLU came out swinging right off the bat with a double from sophomore Alex Nickel.  As if this wasn’t enough, Friedman followed with a homerun to take the defining lead 2-0 over the Explorers.

La Salle picked up in the third inning with two singles and a double to get a lone run on the board, making the score 2-1 where it remained  for the rest of the game.

Singles from Lore and sophomore Emma Buckles couldn’t formulate anything in the fourth, and two singles from La Salle yielded no result in the fifth inning.  Another La Salle attempt to answer with two singles proved unsuccessful, as the Billiken defense held strong throughout the game.

The following day saw the Billikens with a chance to take the whole series.

In the next day’s match up, La Salle got the first crack with two singles that resulted in a run in the top of the first.  But the Bills were not about to allow the Explorers back in for breath.  Two doubles from Nickel and Everingham, and a single from Lore put La Salle back in the hole as SLU took the lead, 3-1.

Three more singles in the third by Buckles, Nickel and freshman Allie Macfarlane gave the Bills two more runs and a 5-1 lead over the lost Explorers.  Neither team allowed any more runs in the course of the game, and a rain cancellation brought the game to a close.

A big weekend for the Bills as a team resulted in an even bigger weekend for a few individuals.  Macfarlane broke the single-season RBI record with 42-it was previously 41-with two weeks before the season close.  Junior Laney Kneib brought up the rear of the Billiken defense on the mound, recording her sixth save of the season, another Billiken record.

Most recently, the Billikens faced Southeast Missouri State (SEMO) in a double header on April 22, in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. In the twin bill, SLU was victorious in the first game 6-3. However, SLU was edged in the second game by a lone run, 5-4.

The squad did manage to tie a school season for record for home runs in the first game and surpass it in the second. With five homers between the two games, the Billikens now have 48 this season.

With just seven games left in the season-two away conference series and a home non-conference match-the Billikens are looking ahead to successful post-season play with one of the strongest starts in program history. The women take on Saint Joseph’s in Philadelphia this weekend, April 25-26, at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. on Sunday.