EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE softball heads to the Music City this weekend for a pair of doubleheaders at Tennessee State and Belmont.
The Cougars, 9-9, face Tennessee State, 3-24, for a 1 p.m. doubleheader Saturday in Nashville, Tennessee. On Sunday, SIUE faces Belmont, 19-4, in a 1 p.m. doubleheader.
Tennessee State enters the weekend on an eight-game losing skid. Sarah Snell leads the offense with a .301 batting average. Lauren Powell has two of TSU's three victories and holds a 4.89 earned run average.
Belmont, which begins OVC play Saturday against Eastern Illinois, has a six-game winning streak and has not yielded a run in its last four games. Brooklin Lee leads the pitching staff with a 10-1 record and a 1.18 ERA. The Bruins have eight starters hitting better than .300 led by Jess Andree at .357.
SIUE Head Coach Sandy Montgomery stressed that the Cougars have only to worry about the first game that is in front of them.
"We've been up and down," noted Montgomery. "That tells you that sometimes you are doing what you are supposed to and sometimes you are not."
SIUE is 0-3 in one-run games so far this season.
"We're talented. We just have to get it together," said Montgomery.
Freshman Bailley Concatto is the team's leading hitter at .447. Redshirt sophomore Zoe Schafer, who has reached base safely in all 18 games this season, is batting .438 with a team-leading six home runs and 19 runs batted in.
As a team, SIUE is batting .282 with just two seniors in the starting lineup.
Sophomore Emily Ingles leads the pitching staff with 70 1/3 innings pitched. She holds a 5-5 record with a 2.19 ERA.
"We have to work harder at communication and building confidence with this young group because they don't have the experience to fall back on," said Montgomery.
Montgomery said Thursday's practice after Wednesday's home opener against Illinois was a good one.
"We've spent some time going over mentality, discipline and preparation. I think everybody is on the same page," she said.