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SIUE Softball Runs Win Streak to Seven

Alyssa Heren
Alyssa Heren

CLEARWATER, Fla. – SIUE softball picked up two more wins Saturday at the Under Armour Showcase with a pair of games shortened by the run rule.

SIUE, 18-4 and winners of seven consecutive games, blanked Fort Wayne 8-0 in six innings and routed Saint Joseph's 11-2 in five innings.

The Cougars close out the tournament Sunday with an 8 a.m. CT game against South Dakota State.

SIUE's offense scored 19 runs off 20 hits Saturday, but it was the pitching staff which picked up kudos from Head Coach Sandy Montgomery.

"We got some outstanding pitching out of Emily Ingles and Ashley Koziol," said Montgomery. "That was a major plus for us. I feel really good about what happened today."

Ingles improved her record to 5-1 with a four-hit shutout over Fort Wayne. The Cougar freshman struck out 11 batters. Koziol backed that performance up by scattering seven hits and striking out five against Saint Joseph's while boosting her season record to 4-0.

"I was happy with their performances. They found a way to dig themselves out of a couple of holes," said Montgomery.

The Cougar offense got started against Fort Wayne on somewhat of a rarity in college softball, an inside-the-park home run by Alyssa Heren.

"It was a well-hit ball that got over the outfielder's head and then she fell down," said Montgomery. "Heren has great speed so she just kept running. They couldn't get to the ball in time."

Heren and Allison Smiley each collected two RBIs against Fort Wayne, which dropped to 3-19. Smiley had three of SIUE's nine hits.

In the Saint Joseph's game, Zoe Schafer tied the game 2-2 with her third home run of the season, a blast to left field in the third inning.

 "She got great extension on it," said Montgomery. "She swings the bat well when she is seeing the ball, and she was definitely seeing the ball well today."

"It felt good to be able to pick up the team a little bit," said Schafer. "We took it and ran from there in the next inning."

The Cougars followed that up with a seven-run fourth inning against Saint Joseph's, 3-10. Smiley started the rally and had two hits during the inning. She now leads the team with a .367 batting average and 23 RBIs.

Sarah Lopesilvero also turned in a perfect 3-for-3 performance at the plate against the Hawks. She scored the 10th run of the game off a double by Tess Eby in the top of the fifth inning.

"We kept it simple. We used the momentum we had in the game," said Schafer.

"I hope that is a sign of a good team when you are getting production out of one through nine in the order," added Montgomery. 

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