Cougars Sweep Tennessee State
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Coaches will tell you "a win is a win," and Saturday's doubleheader sweep was a pair of dissimilar ways to win for SIUE softball over Tennessee State.
SIUE easily won the opener 16-0 in five innings and then used a three-run seventh inning to defeat the Tigers in the nightcap 6-5. The Cougars are now 23-28 overall and 13-15 in Ohio Valley Conference play.
Amanda Lambrecht was the winning pitcher in both games at Cougar Field. The Cougar junior threw a two-hit shutout in the opener and tossed three scoreless innings in relief of starter Rebecca Gray in the nightcap. Lambrecht now holds a 17-14 record.
"We're happy to get two wins today. I'm just happy for the kids that we pulled it out," said SIUE Head Coach Sandy Montgomery.
SIUE's offense collected 13 hits in the opener. Chelsea Yankolovich and Alex McDavid each finished with four runs batted in. McDavid led the team with three hits as well as two each from Taylor Tooley and Whitey Davis. Every starter finished with at least one hit in the contest.
The Cougars would score in all four innings it played as the game ended because of the eight-run rule after five innings.
Tennessee State, 14-39 overall and 4-25 in the OVC, wasted little time in game two by taking advantage of an SIUE error. A pair of RBIs by Jordan Rehl and Devin Amar put the Tigers up 2-0 early.
The Tigers would score twice more in the second and once in the third to take a 5-2 lead after three innings. SIUE had just three hits against TSU pitcher Susie Burke over the first five innings. Burke was two innings away from her first victory of the season when SIUE's offense reignited.
"We came out flat in the second game and didn't make adjustments to their lefty. Luckily we battled and gave ourselves a chance to win the game," Montgomery said.
SIUE cut the lead to 5-3 in the sixth on an RBI single by Davis. By keeping it close, the Cougars put themselves in position for a come-from-behind victory.
Samantha Stanicek opened the seventh with a base hit to center field. After Kayla Riggs pinch ran for Stanicek, she moved up to second on an infield hit by senior Lindsey Barron. Yankolovich loaded the bases as her bunt edged out the throw first for a single.
McDavid collected her fifth hit and fifth RBI of the day with another SIUE infield hit that scored Riggs and cut the lead to 5-4.
With Brittany Toney at the plate and no one out, TSU catcher Kate Morris allowed a passed ball from Burke. As Barron moved toward home, she came across home plate without a slide. The throw from Morris to Burke to try to tag Barron would hit Barron in the helmet and trickle over toward TSU's dugout. The Cougars took advantage of the play as Yankolovich, who started the play at second base, would come around to score the winning run.
SIUE and Tennessee State have one more game in the series Sunday at 1 p.m. It will be the final game of the season for SIUE seniors Barron, Davis, Brianna Fulginiti, Ellese Lawrence, and Paige Sheeder.
"We're trying to finish this home stand with another win tomorrow," Montgomery added.