EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE softball enters the weekend with an 8-2 record as it heads to the Baylor Invitational in Waco, Texas.
The three-day schedule includes five games for the Cougars. Only games against Baylor will be broadcast online. For a complete schedule, go to baylorbears.com.
The schedule features single games against St. Francis (8-2), No. 24 Baylor (9-3) and UMass (2-3). After the round-robin portion of the tournament, teams will be seeded into bracket play. The consolation and championship game will be played Sunday.
SIUE Head Coach Sandy Montgomery said the format of the tournament doesn't affect how her team prepares for the event.
"We play one game at a time," said Montgomery. "These tournaments are just games. We're going to start with St. Francis, and that's what we're going to focus on first."
The possibility that SIUE and nationally-ranked Baylor will play twice during the tournament could help SIUE in the long run.
"We try to get into good tournaments," said Montgomery. "If you get the opportunity to play ranked teams, that's awesome. Baylor is a great program and has been in the top 25 for quite some time. It's an opportunity to see where you stack up. Hopefully, you go somewhere like that in the postseason. I think the tougher competition we play right now gives us an opportunity to try to make a run in our conference."
SIUE left-handed pitcher Haley Chambers-Book is off to a strong start. The senior is fifth nationally in strikeouts with 56 and ninth nationally in wins with five.
"We're continuing to try to get better," said Montgomery. "There are always things you can improve on from a pitching standpoint, from an offensive standpoint and a defensive standpoint. Every week, we focus on what we did wrong and what we can improve upon. Hopefully, we continue to get sharper and sharper in the preseason as we head into conference play."
Friday, Feb. 24
G1: SIUE vs. St. Francis, 10 a.m.
G2: St. Francis vs. UMass, 12:30 p.m.
G3: Baylor vs. SIUE, 3 p.m.
G4: Baylor vs. UMass, 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 25
G5: Baylor vs. St. Francis, 10 a.m.
G6: UMass vs. SIUE, 12:30 p.m.
G7: Seed 1 vs. Seed 4, 3 p.m.
G8: Seed 2 vs. Seed 3, 5:30 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 26
Consolation: Loser G7 vs. Loser G8, 9:30 a.m.
Championship: Winner G7 vs. Winner G8, 12 p.m.