Cougars Take Home Opener Over Bradley
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - Rachel Coonrod blasted her first home run of the season as SIUE softball won its home opener Thursday night over Bradley 4-3 at Cougar Field.
SIUE broke a six-game losing skid to improve to 8-15 overall. Bradley fell to 10-12 with the loss.
"We haven't done that all season. That's what we're capable of doing," said SIUE Head Coach Sandy Montgomery.
Amanda Lambrecht went the distance for the Cougars, striking out six and walking one batter. She improved to 5-6 with the victory.
"Amanda threw well today. I want to commend her for her efforts," said Montgomery. "She pitched with more poise and confidence than she has all year. I was proud of her effort."
Bradley jumped out to an early first-inning lead when leadoff hitter Julie Sherman reached first on an infield single. After a sacrifice bunt, Baileigh Basham singled her home putting the Braves ahead 1-0.
The Cougars would rebound quickly in the bottom half of the first with a nearly identical scoring opportunity. Samantha Stanicek singled, and moved to second on a bunt sacrifice by Coonrod. Alex McDavid then recorded her first RBI at Cougar Field with a base hit.
"What helped us is that they scored first and we came back," said Montgomery. "That tells you the team is in it mentally."
Bradley's Lindsay Hufeld held the Cougars in check until the fifth inning when Stanicek drew a two-out walk. That left it for Coonrod to put the Cougars in front 3-1 with a home run.
Taylor Tooley also had her first home run of the season one inning later to put SIUE up 4-1.
Bradley made a last-ditch rally with RBI hits from Jackie Roth and Basham in the seventh, but Lambrecht got Madeline Lynch-Crumrine to fly out for the final out.
"Great teams have great teammates," said Montgomery. "I was proud of how our kids handled the mental side of the game. They played with toughness and desire."
SIUE continues its homestand when Ohio Valley Conference foe Austin Peay travels to Cougar Field for a three-game series starting Saturday at 1 p.m.