Four-Run Fourth Lifts Cougars
SOUTHAVEN, Miss. – SIUE softball won its first game at the Blues City Classic Friday by defeating UMKC 4-2.
The win improves SIUE's record to 5-3 overall. SIUE has three more games scheduled for the tournament, hosted by Memphis. SIUE faces Wright State at 11 a.m. and Detroit at 1 p.m. Saturday. SIUE's tournament finale is an 11 a.m. meeting Sunday against Mississippi State.
SIUE hurler Haley Chambers struck out seven and did not walk any UMKC batters to improve her season record to 3-1. Chambers allowed six hits.
Down 2-0, SIUE rallied for four runs in the fourth inning against the Kangaroos. Montgomery said that after a slow start the team gained momentum in the fourth.
"I like the fact that we're seeing the ball well offensively and getting hits all through the lineup," said SIUE Head Coach Sandy Montgomery.
Rachel Coonrod got the Cougars started in the fourth with a double to the gap in left center. After Kelsey Hansen was inserted as a pinch runner, CC Hutchinson drew a walk and Chambers came into the game to run for her. An infield ground by Brittany Toney out moved the runners over to second and third. Taylor Tooley then singled to left which drove home Hansen.
The bases were loaded after Jordan LaFave drew a walk off Kansas City pitcher Cinda Ramos.
That set up Chelsea Yankolovich for a single up the middle. Chambers and Tooley scored on the hit while Lafave crossed the plate due to an error on center fielder Brooke Parker.
"Chelsea came up with the bases loaded and hit a rope," said Montgomery. "She's been hitting the ball well."
Yankolovich improved her season batting average to .380 with her team-leading 10th hit of the season through eight games.
"I had a 2-1 count. It was a hitter's count, and I was still looking for a good pitch to hit. Coach told me to relax. I took a deep breath and then hit the next pitch," Yankolovich said.
UMKC, 3-7, scored both of its runs in the first inning. Liz Broyles tripled with one out and scored on an infield grounder. Katie Kelley added a solo home run for the Roos. UMKC had just three baserunners after the first inning.