Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

SIUE Softball Strives for Fast Start

Mardi Gras Classic

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - The SIUE softball team plans to get things going in a hurry when it starts the 2017 season Friday.

The Cougars open the Mardi Gras Classic in Monroe, Louisiana, against Grambling State at 9 a.m. CT. SIUE also has games with Northwestern State, Prairie View, host Louisiana-Monroe and Sam Houston State.

All figured, the Cougars are slated to play five games in three days, including two games both Friday and Saturday. After Grambling, SIUE tangles with Northwestern State at 11 a.m. On Saturday, SIUE faces Prairie View at 1 p.m. and Louisiana-Monroe at 7. The Cougars conclude with Sam Houston State at 10 a.m. Sunday.

"You always want to get off to a good start to the season," SIUE Head Coach Sandy Montgomery said. "We will see what we need to work on in the opening tournament."

The Cougars, coming off a 28-26 season that featured a third consecutive appearance in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament championship game, are seeking bigger and better things.

"We have high expectations this season," Montgomery said.

No surprise. Those expectations include faring well in early nonconference tournaments, contending for the OVC regular-season crown and competing for the league's tourney title. The OVC Tournament winner automatically qualifies for the NCAA Tournament, and that's the Cougars goal.

"For us, opening tournaments matter a lot because it affects your RPI (Ratings Percentage Index)," Montgomery said. "We have a tough schedule, and we will play some good teams in our tournaments this season. I believe it's the second-toughest schedule we've had. The 2014 schedule was the toughest one."

The Cougars expect quality competition at Louisiana-Monroe.

"Playing five games the opening weekend is a challenge," said Montgomery. "We will focus on one game at a time, but we will take a look at some different people because we have a deep team."

It starts in the pitcher's circle with senior left-hander Haley Chambers-Book, the OVC Pitcher of the Year in 2015 with a 25-7 record, 1.45 earned run average and 315 strikeouts in 231.1 innings.

"She won't throw every game in the opening tournament," Montgomery said.

The SIUE coach also can go with junior Ashley Koziol, 10-14 last season with a 3.32 earned run average, as well freshmen Emily Ingles or Abby Marlow in the circle.

Chambers-Book, catcher Tess Eby, second baseman Allison Smiley and outfielder Whitney Lanphier serve as the team's captains. Smiley batted .279 with three home runs and 19 RBIs last season. Eby hit .263 with five home runs and 29 RBIs. Both played in all 54 games. Lanphier appeared in 31 games last season. Chambers-Book, Smiley and Lanphier were members of the 2014 team that won the OVC Tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.

SIUE Blanks Austin Peay
April 28, 2017 SIUE Blanks Austin Peay
Sunday's Games Postponed
April 23, 2017 Sunday's Games Postponed
Gamecocks Top Cougars
April 22, 2017 Gamecocks Top Cougars
SIUE Downs SLU 7-3
April 18, 2017 SIUE Downs SLU 7-3
SIUE Softball Battles SLU
April 17, 2017 SIUE Softball Battles SLU
Cougars Blank Salukis 4-0
March 29, 2017 Cougars Blank Salukis 4-0
No. 24 Baylor Nips Cougars 3-2
February 26, 2017 No. 24 Baylor Nips Cougars 3-2
SIUE Softball Improves to 8-2
February 19, 2017 SIUE Softball Improves to 8-2
SIUE Tops Mercer 4-3
February 18, 2017 SIUE Tops Mercer 4-3
Cougars Down Evansville
February 17, 2017 Cougars Down Evansville
Cougars Head to No. 2 Auburn
February 15, 2017 Cougars Head to No. 2 Auburn
Chambers-Book Honored by OVC
February 13, 2017 Chambers-Book Honored by OVC
Leave Your Legacy
January 30, 2017 Leave Your Legacy
Cougars Sweep Fall Season
October 9, 2016 Cougars Sweep Fall Season
Cougars Open Fall Season
September 24, 2016 Cougars Open Fall Season