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No. 24 Baylor Nips Cougars 3-2

Allison Smiley
Allison Smiley

WACO, Texas – SIUE softball's Zoe Schafer and Alyssa Heren were named to the All-Tournament team Sunday at the Baylor Invitational after No. 24 Baylor topped SIUE 3-2 in the tourney's championship game.

"They both played well," said SIUE Head Coach Sandy Montgomery of Schafer and Heren. "That's huge for us for the future – a freshman and sophomore getting it done."

SIUE stands at 11-4 after completing its February schedule. The team's four losses have come against top-25-ranked teams.

"To be 11-4 after February is huge for us," said Montgomery. "I'm hoping we can take this momentum into Florida."

The Cougars are idle until March 7 when they travel to Clearwater, Florida, for an eight-game swing (March 7-12) that includes the USF Tournament at the University of South Florida.

Schafer said she expects her team will get to practice and not let up after a strong start.

"There's a few things that we need to improve," the redshirt freshman said.

On Sunday, the Cougars grabbed a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning on four straight hits. Haley Chambers-Book led the rally with a bunt single followed by singles from Schafer, Reagan Curtis and Allison Smiley.

"Everybody fed off the first hit," said Schafer. "Hitting is contagious."

Smiley's hit was a two-run single, boosting her team-leading RBI total to 17 through 15 games this season.

"We hit a few balls that found holes," said Montgomery. "We had a few chances and made a few mistakes that hurt us."

Baylor kept missing opportunity after opportunity against SIUE pitchers Emily Ingles and Chambers-Book, stranding 10 runners on base.

The Bears scored single tallies in the fourth and fifth innings to tie the game only to win it in the bottom of the seventh on back-to-back hits by Ari Hawkins and Shelby Friudenberg.

Montgomery said Ingles, a freshman, fared well against the Bears.

"She threw well against Baylor. She was throwing quality pitches," added Montgomery.

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