WACO, Texas – SIUE softball advanced to Sunday's championship game of the Baylor Invitational and will play host Baylor at noon.
SIUE won twice Saturday with an 8-2 win over UMass and a 4-2 triumph over St. Francis.
The Cougars, now 11-3, moved on to the title game after rallying for three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning against St. Francis, now 9-5.
Down 2-1 in the sixth inning, Alyssa Heren started the rally with a single. After St. Francis went to its bullpen for reliever Keterah DeVries, St. Francis was unable to get an out on an infield ball by Haley Chambers-Book. Heren and Chambers-Book then moved up on a stolen base, putting both runners in scoring position for Zoe Schafer.
Schafer singled to center field to drive home Heren and tie the score. Allison Smiley added to her team-leading 15th RBI with a single to left field that drove home Chambers-Book and game SIUE its first lead of the game at 3-2. Sarah Lopesilvero added an RBI that gave SIUE extra cushion.
"We had a pretty good sixth inning," said SIUE Head Coach Sandy Montgomery.
Chambers-Book went the distance for the Cougars, allowing five hits and striking out five. She is now 6-2 this season.
"She's pitching well. They (St. Francis) were a big swinging team. She was flat a couple of times, but we bounced back after that and so did she," said Montgomery.
Heren provided the big hit of the game, a three-run homer in the five-run fifth inning. Schafer added her second home run of the season in the seventh.
"We're trying to hang our hat on the fact that we're resilient," said Montgomery. "It doesn't matter whether we are from behind or not. Obviously you don't want to play from behind much and we haven't. Tonight we did."