EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - In an exciting day of action, the University of Evansville softball team dropped two games to Southern Illinois, including an NCAA-record game on Saturday at Cooper Stadium.
UE (14-31, 7-15 MVC) and SIU (26-20, 9-11 MVC) played a 16-inning marathon to start the day with the Salukis taking a 1-0 win. In the second tilt, Southern Illinois entered the 7th inning trailing 3-2, but plated three runs and held on for a 5-3 victory.
Game one was an absolute pitcher's duel with Morgan Florey and Brianna Jones pitching 16 frames apiece. The duo combined to strike out an NCAA Division I record 46 batters in the game with Morgan Florey setting her career mark with 26, the most in an NCAA game this season. SIU starter Brianna Jones struck out 20.
Eryn Gould extended her hit streak to nine games with a single in the first inning while Florey got the job done in the circle, fanning seven batters through three frames.
Evansville had its first big chance in the top of the fourth when Lindsay Renneisen singled before Florey reached on a Saluki error with one out, but SIU was able to get out of the inning unscathed.
The next scoring chance did not come until the bottom of the 11th for UE as Gould reached once again with a walk. Renneisen posted a hit to left center and Gould tried to score, but was thrown out on a close play. UE had another chance in the 12th when Florey hit a leadoff double, but once again, the game remained scoreless.
Southern Illinois put two batters on with no outs in the top of the 15th inning, but Florey was the hero once again as she earned two strikeouts, pushing her total to 25, to keep it at 0-0. The scoreless tie was broken in the 16th as the Salukis started off with a pair of bunts, the second resulting in an error that saw Susie Baranski score. UE was unable to push a run across in the bottom half of the 16th and dropped the 1-0 contest. Renneisen had two of the Aces six hits in the game.
After going 16 innings with a combined one run, the first score of game two came in the second inning as Southern Illinois got on the board with a bases loaded walk before Jenny Jansen hit a solo shot in the top of the third to extend the advantage to 2-0.
A walk by Mea Adams was the only baserunner for the Aces until Renneisen recorded an infield hit to lead off the fourth. Following her was Florey, who put the Aces on the board with her fourth home run of the season. With one out, Elyse Hickey came to the plate and gave Evansville the lead with the first home run of her Aces career to make it a 3-2 game.
In the top of the seventh, the Salukis rallied with three runs as they were able to finish the day with the 5-2 win. UE posted three hits in the contest, two of which were home runs. SIU notched nine hits with Sydney Jones and Megan Brown posting two apiece.
Tomorrow, the final home game of the season will take place at 11 a.m. when UE and SIU play the series finale.