Final Score: Loyola 2, Southern Illinois 1
Records: Loyola (20-19, 3-12 MVC); Southern Illinois (22-20, 9-6 MVC)
Location: Loyola Softball Park -- Chicago, Ill.
Stats: Box Score
Loyola University Chicago rallied to score two runs in the bottom of the fifth to take the lead and held on for a 2-1 victory over Southern Illinois (22-20, 9-6 MVC) this afternoon at Loyola Softball Park. With the win, the Ramblers improve to 20-19 overall and 3-12 in Missouri Valley Conference action and they capture their first conference series since April 2-3, 2016.
How It Happened
On a warm, spring afternoon, the Ramblers and Salukis engaged in a pitchers’ duel, with the teams combining for just one hit through the first three innings. Southern Illinois was able to scratch out a run against Loyola starting pitcher Keenan Dolezal in the fourth inning thanks to three singles, the last of which came off the bat of Sydney Jones and scored Eyrika Brandenburg, for a 1-0 SIU lead.
Loyola was held hitless by a pair of Saluki hurlers, Savanna Dover and Brianna Jones, until the bottom of the fifth, when it mounted a game-changing rally. Ashley Parenti started things off by reaching on a Saluki error and one out later, Brooke Wilson laid down a bunt single to put the tying run in scoring position.
Shannon McGee, who has been on a tear of late, extended her hitting streak to eight games when she laced an opposite field single to left center that scored Parenti to even the score at 1 apiece. Erica Nagel then reached on a fielder’s choice to load the bags with the Ramblers before Alyssa Mannucci grounded out to short, but knocked in Wilson on the play, for the go-ahead run.
Shaye Harre’s bloop single down the right field line started off the top of the sixth for the Salukis, but Kiley Jones, who came on in relief of Dolezal in the fifth inning, slammed the door and retired the next six hitters she would face to give Loyola back-to-back wins for the first time since March 5.
A Look At The Numbers
- Loyola tallied just two hits, both in the decisive fifth inning.
- Kiley Jones tossed 2.2 innings of one-hit relief to earn her 13th win of the season.
- Brooke Wilson has now hit safely in each of the last three contests.
- Keenan Dolezal matched a career high with six strikeouts in 4.1 innings of work.
Loyola continues a nine-game homestand Wednesday (April 19) when it hosts a doubleheader versus Indiana State.