Cougars Split With EKU
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE softball made a dramatic come-from-behind effort Sunday to gain a split at Cougar Field.
The Cougars scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh to defeat Eastern Kentucky 3-2 in the resumption of Saturday's second game. Sunday's regularly scheduled game ended with a 4-1 victory for EKU.
SIUE, 21-18 overall and 11-15 in OVC play, found itself down 2-0 in the top of the seventh inning in the first game finished Sunday. SIUE hurler Rebecca Gray had given up just single runs in the sixth and seventh innings against the Colonels, now 26-26 overall and 15-11 in OVC play.
"I asked them to battle and compete. They certainly did that. They came up with some timely hitting," said SIUE Head Coach Sandy Montgomery.
With Taylor Tooley aboard and two out, pinch hitter Kam Smallwood gave the Cougars hope with a single up the middle. Montgomery said she thought where EKU pitcher Leanna Pittsenbarger was throwing effectively played to Smallwood's strength.
"She (Smallwood) is always ready to come in with that situation. She's a gutsy kid," said Montgomery said.
Kayla Riggs was inserted to the run for Smallwood. Whitney Davis followed with a singled to center field, scoring Tooley. Lindsey Barron laced a single down the right field line to drive home Riggs. Davis scored the winning run on the next play as Jill Rackers singled to center field.
Gray picked up the victory in game one and pitched much of the second game.
"She's stepping up big for us. She plays with a lot of heart and a lot of toughness. We're very happy with what she has done," Montgomery said.
In game two, EKU picked up 11 hits against the Cougars. The biggest hit came in the seventh when Katie Tackett hit a two-run homer to put the Colonels ahead 4-0.
SIUE made a last-ditch effort in the bottom of the seventh and came close to completing a second comeback on the day.
Alex McDavid delivered a two-out base hit with the bases loaded to give SIUE its only run. SIUE would leave the bases loaded to end the game and stranded 10 runners on base as EKU pitchers Shaylon Robb and Hannah Driver combined to hit two batters and walk five more.
Driver picked up her third win of the season in relief. Amanda Lambrecht started for the Cougars and took the loss. She now holds a 15-14 record.