CLEARWATER, Fla. – SIUE improved its winning streak to five games Sunday with a 12-2, five-inning victory over Quinnipiac at the USF Under Armour Classic.
The softball Cougars won their third straight short game with six different players recording RBIs against the 2-12 Bobcats.
SIUE Head Coach Sandy Montgomery said the Cougars continued to fare well at the plate.
"We have a lot of competition going on," said Montgomery. "If you are hitting, you are going to play."
Since nearly everyone is hitting in the lineup from the leadoff down to the No. 9 slot, it could create a problem on who to play.
"It's a nice problem to have," Montgomery said. "There's a pressure to perform there."
SIUE improved to 12-6 overall after an impressive 6-1 week in Florida. The Cougars return home to their first game at Cougar Field. On Wednesday, SIUE entertains Missouri State for a 4 p.m. single game Wednesday.
Pitching continued to be at a premium as SIUE's Erin Greenwalt won her third game of the week. She allowed four hits and struck out two. The Cougar right-hander threw just 79 pitches.
Montgomery said pitching is where it has to start whether the team has a lead or not.
"They have to set the tone," Montgomery said. "You have to come out and take control of the game."
Greenwalt got immediate help Sunday before she even had to throw one pitch. Chelsea Yankolovich led off the game with a double to left field.
Taylor Tooley followed up with a home run to put the Cougars up 2-0. Tooley said she was supposed to move the runner over by laying down a sacrifice bunt earlier in the at bat.
"I didn't get the job done," admitted Tooley. "It was a good thing I came up with a big hit."
SIUE wasted little time in knocking out Quinnipiac starter Molly Jarrett. Samantha Stanicek drew a walk to open the second inning and moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Jill Rackers. Jordan LaFave drove home Stanicek with a triple to put SIUE up 3-0.
After Yankolovich drew a walk, pitcher Katie Alfiere entered the game for Quinnipiac. She loaded by bases by walking Tooley. Consecutive hits by Alex McDavid, Rachel Coonrod, and Kayla Riggs resulted in five more runs. By the end of the second inning, SIUE held a 9-0 lead.
Stanicek, who had the final RBI in the second inning, provided two more RBIs in the fourth.
"I think this was the perfect trip to help our confidence," said Stanicek.
Stanicek said getting hits from up and down the lineup as well as from pinch hitter has made hitting contagious. Players are locked in at the plate.
"There is such a higher level mentally," Stanicek added.