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SIUE Tops Mercer 4-3

Sarah Lopesilvero
Sarah Lopesilvero

AUBURN, Ala. – Sarah Lopesilvero doubled home the game-winning run in the fifth inning Saturday as SIUE defeated Mercer 4-3 at the Plainsman Invitational.

SIUE improved to 7-2 overall while Mercer dropped to 4-3. Both teams return to the diamond Sunday for an 11:45 a.m. contest to close out the tournament.

Lopesilvero faced Mercer relief pitcher Megan Bilgri after both Kalei Kaneshiro and Amy Hunt drew walks. Lopesilvero adjusted quickly, lacing a 2-2 pitch down the left field line to score Kaneshiro.

"I try to keep myself from overthinking," said Lopesilvero.

"That was a big hit in a crucial situation," added SIUE Head Coach Sandy Montgomery.

SIUE pitcher Emily Ingles earned the victory in relief and improved to 2-1. The Cougar freshman tossed 4 2/3 innings and struck out four. At one point, she retired nine straight Mercer batters.

"She did a nice job and threw a lot of quality pitchers," said Montgomery.

The two teams went back and forth in the early innings. Zoe Schafer put the Cougars on top early with her first home run of the season.

Mercer fired back with two runs in the top of the second. SIUE tied it up in the second on an RBI double by Kaneshiro, who leads the team with five extra-base hits.

Mercer and SIUE exchanged single runs in the third. SIUE's Alyssa Heren scored on an infield error off the bat of Reagan Curtis with the bases loaded.

SIUE stranded nine runners overall.

"We're definitely getting on base," said Montgomery. "We just have to be smarter in RBI situations."

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