Softball Falls To Southern Illinois, 6-1
May 18, 2003
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Southern Illinois hit three home runs this afternoon as it handed the University of Massachusetts softball team a 6-2 defeat in the loser's bracket championship game of the NCAA Regional Tournament at the University of Alabama. The Salukis will now play Alabama for a trip to the Women's College World Series while the Minutewomen conclude their season with a 39-15 record.
Jenny Doehring got the Southern Illinois offense going with a two-run home run in the top of the first inning. Massachusetts got one of the runs back in the bottom of the first inning. Senior Emily Robustelli (Stamford, Conn.) led off with a double to right field and scored a couple of batters later on a wild pitch by SIU pitcher Amy Harre. SIU got its two-run lead back in the top of the second inning when Maria Damico hit a solo shot.
In the fourth, the Salukis put the game away with three runs on two walks, a hit batman and two hits. One of the hits was a home run by Katie Louis. This knocked UMass senior pitcher Kaila Holtz (North Vancouver, British Columbia) from the game and brought in sophomore Kelli Arnold (Kalama, Wash.). Holtz gave up five earned runs on four hits and a walk while fanning two. The three home runs surrendered marked a career high.
After the first inning, the Minutewomen never put a rally together. They had just three hits in the game. Robustelli had two of them while freshman KJ Kelley (Rainier, Ore.) had a double.
Arnold gave up one run, which was unearned, on four hits and two walks. She struck out three. Harre went the distance for the Salukis. She gave up one run on three hits and a walk while fanning seven.
The Minutewomen finish the 2003 season with a 39-15 record after winning their 16th Atlantic 10 title.