EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE softball makes a quick road trip to Carbondale, Illinois, Wednesday to take on the Salukis of SIU Carbondale. Game time is 4 p.m. at Charlotte West Stadium.
"I'm sure it's going to be quite a battle," said SIUE Head Coach Sandy Montgomery. "They're a good team. They hit the ball well and have good pitching."
SIUE enters the game with a 25-6 record having won 14 of its last 16 games. SIU Carbondale holds a 17-14 record. The last two games in the series have been in Carbondale with the teams splitting contests.
"It's always tough to go down there and play. We'd like to bounce back obviously because UT Martin is playing well," said Montgomery, noting the team's next Ohio Valley Conference opponent Saturday.
The Cougars enter Wednesday's contest with the No. 4 defense in the nation. The team's fielding percentage is .981.
SIU Carbondale also has a top-ranked fielding percentage at .974, which is the best in the Missouri Valley Conference.
SIUE's pitching staff holds a 2.02 earned run average, which is 31st nationally. The trio of Haley Chambers-Book, Emily Ingles and Ashley Koziol have combined for 281 strikeouts in 211 1/3 innings pitched. Chambers-Book recorded 18 in a single game during last Friday's no-hitter against Tennessee State.
Redshirt freshman first baseman Zoe Schafer is the team's leading hitter with a .380 batting average. She joins sophomore Alyssa Heren and freshman Kalei Kaneshiro for the team lead in home runs with three.
Brianna Jones leads the Saluki pitching staff with a 1.95 ERA. As a team, SIU Carbondale holds a 2.51 earned run average.
Shaye Harris leads the Salukis offense with a .413 batting average, including 10 doubles and two home runs.