Cougars Split at EIU
CHARLESTON, Ill. – SIUE's Amanda Lambrecht garnered her second shutout of the season as the Cougars and Eastern Illinois settled for a doubleheader split at Williams Field.
SIUE, 11-17 overall and 3-5 in the Ohio Valley Conference, was victorious 4-0 in Wednesday's nine-inning opener. EIU, now 11-11 and 3-4 in the OVC, won the nightcap 4-1.
Lambrecht won her fourth straight game for the Cougars with a six-hitter. The Cougar junior struck out seven and walked one. EIU, which lost its home opener for the first time in seven seasons under Coach Kim Schuette, stranded nine baserunners against Lambrecht.
"She threw very well today. She got herself out of a couple of jams," said SIUE Head Coach Sandy Montgomery.
The key play for the Cougars may have come on defense in the bottom of the seventh. With the game knotted up 0-0, EIU's Ashleigh Westover was thrown out at the plate to send the game into extra innings.
"LB (Lindsey Barron) hit the relay to Chelsea (Yankolovich), and Chelsea threw a strike to home to get the runner out at the plate," said Montgomery.
SIUE's offense didn't score itself until the ninth inning. But once the Cougars got started against EIU starter Stephanie Maday, they didn't quit.
Barron got the rally started with a single to right field. Jill Rackers bunted and made it to first when Maday was unable to throw out Barron at second. Rachel Coonrod followed with a bunt single to load the bases. Alex McDavid and Yankolovich each reached on a fielder's choice and both recorded RBIs. A pair of EIU infield errors led to two more runs for the Cougars.
In the nightcap, Yankolovich gave the Cougars their only offense of the game. Her RBI double in the fourth scored Rackers.
Hannah Mennega picked up the win for EIU to improve to 4-3. She allowed three hits and struck out six. Freshman Rebecca Gray took the loss for the Cougars after giving up just six hits. EIU scored two runs in each of the second and fourth innings.
"Rebecca gave us an opportunity to win," said Montgomery. "I'm proud of how she's handling herself."
The Cougars remain on the road for a three-game weekend series at Southeast Missouri. A Saturday doubleheader is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. The Cougars and the Redhawks also have a Sunday single game set for 1 p.m.
"I told our players it's still very early in the conference season. We just have to keep getting better," added Montgomery.