CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Michelle Bradley's second home run of the year broke a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the sixth inning and helped host Southern Illinois claim a 3-2 win over Creighton in quarterfinal round action at the 2012 State Farm MVC Softball Tournament.
Southern Illinois improves to 35-19 and earns a semifinal date vs. top-seeded Northern Iowa on Saturday at Noon.
Creighton sees its season end at 28-25-1 in the final game for Christa Ruf, Kylie Hovinga and Emily Perry, though a league-high seven all-Valley players will return.
Neither offense did much early, as the top two offenses in the MVC combined for just one hit in the first three innings.
The Salukis finally dented the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth inning. Taylor Orsburn singled, and pinch-runner Kara Kimball advanced to third on Haley Gorman's single up the middle. A hit-by-pitch to Allie VadeBoncouer filled the bases, and everyone moved up 60 feet when Jayna Spivey's comebacker deflected off the glove of pitcher Brittany Telecky for an infield single. The Jays escaped further damage when Telecky induced three straight pop-outs to get out of the inning.
CU had its first scoring opportunity in the top of the fifth. Blair Lowe led off the frame by reaching on an error, then moved to second on a bunt by Ruf. Liz Dike lined out to left before pinch-hitter Brittnie Kreiser dropped in a single to left to end Katie Bertelsen's no-hit bid, which advanced Lowe to third. Bertelsen then got all-Valley pick Ellen Homan to fly out to short to preserve her shutout.
The Salukis tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the as Telecky again worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam, surrendering only VadeBoncouer's sacrifice fly that scored Kelsea Ashton.
Creighton tied the game with one swing of the bat in the top of the sixth inning. Allie Mathewson singled to left on the first pitch of the inning before Alexis Cantu went the opposite way with her league-leading 17th homer of the season to even the score at 2-all.
The Salukis got its eventual game-winning run in the bottom of the sixth inning when Bradley, SIU's No. 9 hitter, hit her second homer of the year, just above the outstretched arm of Ruf in dead center.
Bertelsen got two quick outs in the seventh inning before Ellen Homan tripled to center. However, the tying run would be stranded there, as Allie Mathewson's liner was caught by a leaping Bradley in left.
Telecky threw her first complete game but was a tough-luck loser, falling to 0-2 on the year. Bertelsen improved to 13-11 with the victory, throwing her 10th complete game.
NOTES: The start by Brittany Telecky was just her second of the year, and made her just the sixth different CU starting pitcher at the MVC Tournament since 2003 ... Creighton starting pitchers Tara Oltman and Becca Changstrom had thrown the last 1,453 pitches and 84.0 innings at the MVC Tournament before Telecky's start ...Creighton has had an individual throw a complete game in 14 straight MVC Tournament games, and 24-of-26, before today's nightcap ...Southern Illinois' catcher Allie VadeBoncouer was hit by a pitch for the 28th time in the fourth inning, fourth-most in NCAA single-season history ... Creighton entered the day 8-4 all-time vs. Southern Illinois in the MVC Tournament, its most victories vs. any opponent ...Creighton's nine wins at Charlotte West Stadium are more than any other visiting team at the facility ...Creighton falls to 18-4 in its last 22 one-run games at the MVC Tournament ... Ellen Homan's triple in the seventh inning extended her hit streak to 13 ... Alexis Cantu led CU in home runs, RBI, total bases, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and a school-reocrd 46 walks. Ellen Homan hit a team-best .370 and led CU wiht eight doubles and 67 hits, while Allie Mathewson had a team-high 44 runs and 13 stolen bases. Becca Changstrom led CU in nearly every pitching category, including wins, ERA, games, starts, shutouts, complete games, innings and strikeouts. Changstrom and Sammy Snygg tied for the team lead with one save each ... Creighton finished the season with a school-record 294 runs.