CARBONDALE, Ill. – Haley Chambers-Book tossed a four-hit shutout Wednesday as SIUE softball cruised to a 4-0 victory over SIU Carbondale at Charlotte West Stadium.
SIUE improved to 26-6 while SIU Carbondale dropped to 17-15.
"We had some quality at bats, executed fairly well and stole some bases," explained SIUE Head Coach Sandy Montgomery." We got some timely hits when we need it. That's how you win ball games."
Chambers-Book struck out 11 Saluki batters and walked three. She improved her season record to 14-4 with her fourth shutout of the season.
"She is resilient and gets it done," said Montgomery. "She threw well and really turns it on and grinds it out when she needs it. That's the sign of a great pitcher."
SIUE is now 22-1 this season when scoring three or more runs.
"We're so confident in Haley and all of our pitching staff actually," said SIUE third baseman Kalei Kaneshiro. "They work so hard so we know they can come through."
While Chambers-Book held off the Saluki offense, SIUE collected five hits of its own. A three-run third inning propelled the Cougars.
Zoe Schafer, the team's leading hitter with a .372 batting average, led off the third with a base hit. She moved to second on a bunt single by Allison Smiley. Kaneshiro picked up what would be the game-winning RBI with another single, scoring Schafer. Smiley made it 2-0 by scoring on a passed ball.
Haley Adrian, who was pinch-running for Kaneshiro, also moved to second on the passed ball. That's when Reagan Curtis recorded an odd two-base sacrifice fly. Curtis launched the ball to the gap but the ball was caught on a great play by centerfielder Merri Ann Patterson.
"The centerfielder ran it down well, and Haley Adrian was smart enough to tag on the play," said Montgomery. "It was almost to the fence. They did not get the ball in, and she continued to run. They knew she was going to third. I just kept her going, and she ended up scoring on the play."
Alyssa Heren added an insurance run in the top of the seventh with a leadoff home run off SIU starter-loser Brianna Jones. Heren, the team's leadoff hitter, is tops on the team in home runs with four.
SIUE returns to Ohio Valley Conference play with a Saturday doubleheader at Cougar Field. The Cougars face UT Martin with game one set to start at 1 p.m.