OXFORD, Ala. – After a 7-1 win over UT Martin to advance to its fourth consecutive Ohio Valley Conference Softball Championship title game, SIUE finished Saturday as the runner-up with a 5-4 loss to Jacksonville State.
"I'm so proud of my kids of how they battled," said SIUE Head Coach Sandy Montgomery.
The Cougars scored all four of its runs in the first inning off JSU's Whitney Gillespie, who later would pick up the save after being re-entered as the pitcher in the seventh inning.
Allison Smiley put the Cougars up 1-0 with a single that drove home Zoe Schafer. Kalei Kaneshiro added a two-RBI single to left field that plated Reagan Curtis and Smiley. Pinch runner Talisa Morton scored the fourth run on a Jacksonville State error.
The Cougars would strand eight runners in the game, including the bases loaded in the fifth off JSU reliever and winning pitcher Taylor West.
JSU's first four runs came off home runs. Jordan Sims hit one in the second. Jamie McGuire hit a two-run homer in the third. Alexus Jimmerson tied the game with a home run in the seventh. The go ahead run was scored when Stephanie Lewis triple to right field and reached home on a wild pitch.
"Jacksonville State is a quality team," said Montgomery. "They have good pitching and they swing the bats."
Chambers-Book went the distance for the Cougars and dropped to 27-8.
SIUE finished the regular season and the OVC Tournament with a 41-13 record. Montgomery reflected on her six seniors.
"Haley, Amy (Hunt), Allison, Sarah, Page (Clinton) and Whitney (Lanphier): They exemplify the term student-athlete and represent our program with integrity and class," said Montgomery. "That's something I think that is important."
2017 Softball All-Tournament
Taylor Monahan, Eastern Illinois
Chelsey Deloney, Belmont
Krislyn Campos, Eastern Kentucky
Brooke Kennedy, UT Martin
Jodie Duncan, UT Martin
Haley Chambers-Book, SIUE
Allison Smiley, SIUE
Sarah Lopesilvero, SIUE
Alexus Jimmerson, Jacksonville State
Jamie McGuire, Jacksonville State
Stephanie Lewis, Jacksonville State
Whitney Gillespie, Jacksonville State (MVP)