CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Saint Louis erupted for seven first-inning runs and cruised to an 8-2 victory over Loyola Chicago Friday morning in the opening game of the Fighting Illini Invitational at Eichelberger Field.
The Billikens, who were scheduled to take on Western Michigan at 12:30 p.m., improved to 9-8, while Loyola fell to 10-7.
Just two batters into the game, Lindsay Friedman put Saint Louis on the board with her team-leading third homer of the season, a two-run shot to left field. It scored Jessica Buschjost, who led off with a single and stole second.
Jessica Van Nostrand doubled, and SLU loaded the bases with walks to Laura Bohning and Kelsey Biggs. Walks to Alyson Brand and Elizabeth Everingham plated Van Nostrand and Bohning, respectively, and with one out, Biggs scored on an illegal pitch to make it 5-0.
A walk to Erin Harcar loaded the bases again, and Buschjost drew yet another free pass to score Brand. Everingham completed the scoring by crossing the plate on a wild pitch.
Loyola scored a run in the bottom of the first and added an unearned tally in the fourth, while Saint Louis registered its final run in the fifth. Brand led off with a double, and pinch runner Katie Kroeger advanced to third on Everingham's fly ball to right and scored on Harcar's two-out single.
Brand was 2-for-2, and Kroeger stayed in the game and delivered a seventh-inning single.Brianna Lore (6-5) chalked up her third complete game of the year. Lore allowed just three hits and two walks while striking out four.