EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – After 17 games to start the season on the road and several games cancelled or postponed due to weather, SIUE softball Head Coach Sandy Montgomery is pleased to be back at Cougar Field for Wednesday's 4 p.m. home opener against Illinois.
"It's always good to get back home and get the players in front of their home fans," said Montgomery. "I'm hoping for some better weather so we can get some fans out there."
This is the first-ever appearance for the Illini at Cougar Field.
"They're in the Big Ten so they're a good team," said Montgomery. "They're well coached, and they'll have a good combination of speed and power. We'll have to play well to win."
SIUE features two of the hottest bats in the Ohio Valley Conference.
First baseman Zoe Schafer is coming off her best offensive weekend of the season, hitting four home runs at the Tiger Classic. Schafer is hitting .457 and is ranked seventh nationally in slugging percentage at .978. She was named the OVC Player of the Week and the Fastpitchnews.com National Player of the Week.
Second baseman Bailley Concatto is second on the team and fourth in the OVC in hitting at .435. She has a .509 on-base percentage.
As a team, SIUE is hitting .289.
"We're a long way from being as good and as sharp as I want us to be," said Montgomery. "I've asked the kids to try to continually get better every day. I was happy how we responded after the loss to SEMO and how we played against Memphis. I'm hoping we can use that for this game and getting better from there."