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 Christa 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, as VadeBoncouer's sacrifice fly 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.