May 06, 2007
May 6, 2007|
EAST PEORIA, ILL. - Southern Illinois University Edwardsville softball swept through Lewis 6-2 Sunday to capture back-to-back Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament crowns at Eastside Centre.
The Cougars, 41-8, earned the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament with the victory. SIUE, ranked No. 13 in the latest NFCA/NCAA Division II national poll, will be in the field for the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional in Romeoville, Ill., which was announced before the GLVC Tournament began.
The NCAA Tournament features a 64-team field with eight different double-elimination regional tournaments. The eight regional champions advance to the national tournament in Akron, Ohio.
Sabra McCune went the distance in Sunday's GLVC title game, striking out five and scattering six hits. The 2006 All-American and 2007 first team All-GLVC selection improved her season record to 15-5.
With the loss, Lewis, ranked No. 7 in the nation, fell to 34-12 overall.
SIUE had the first lead of the game in the first inning when Lewis starter Courtney Lyons walked McCune with the bases loaded. The Cougars didn't get a hit off Lyons while scoring the run and didn't get a base hit until the fourth inning.
Lewis looked to set the tone offensively in the bottom of the first, scoring what would be its only two runs. Kristy Vanek provided an RBI single, and Carla Musillo added an RBI on an infield out to put Lewis up 2-1.
McCune settled down after the first inning and let the Cougar offense take over. SIUE scored in each of the last four innings of the seven-inning game.
Nicole Beecher scored the tying run in the fourth on a passed ball.
SIUE took the lead for good in the fifth when Emily Lenart singled to left field, driving home Kaeleigh Rousey. The Cougars added two more in the sixth when Ashley Price double home Lauren Zembruski. Libby Lenart followed with a double, scoring Price.
Beecher capped off the day with a one-out solo home run in the seventh. It was her fifth home run of the season.