SIUE, which has advanced to the championship game of the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament for three consecutive seasons, will play all but one date at Cougar Field. The Cougars face Illinois in a single game Oct. 1 at 12:30 p.m. in Champaign, Illinois, as well as Danville Area College at 10 a.m.
"We are excited to finally get the opportunity to play the Illini as well as Danville Area College," said Montgomery. "It will be a good test for our newcomers as well as returners."
The Cougars open the fall season Sept. 25 with single games against Parkland College (Noon) and Saint Louis University (4 p.m.). Jefferson College travels to SIUE Oct. 2 for a 1 p.m. doubleheader. The fall season ends Oct. 9 with a 1 p.m. doubleheader against Lake Land College.
SIUE has seven newcomers on the 2016 fall roster, including freshmen Sydney Bina, Reagan Curtis, Conner Cutright, Emily Ingles, Kalei Kaneshiro and Abby Marlow. Senior Sarah Lopesilvero joins the Cougars after transferring from Louisville.
"We will try to play everyone to some degree during the fall season. The kids know that game time is won in practice," said Montgomery.
Five other seniors already know the rigors of working to gain a spot in the lineup. The group set for its final season include Haley Chambers-Book, Paige Clinton, Amy Hunt, Whitney Lanphier and Allison Smiley.
"We have some returners who have been starters for us for some time," said Montgomery. "We always have loyalties to those players. It is their position to lose. Everyone is expected to work hard, understand our culture and contribute to our mentality. Those who can meet these expectations will give themselves an opportunity for playing time."