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SEMO Downs Cougars

Maria Prete
Maria Prete

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Despite hitting three home runs in the doubleheader, the SIUE softball team dropped a pair of Ohio Valley Conference games at Southeast Missouri Friday afternoon.

SEMO topped SIUE 6-2 in the opener and 7-5 in the nightcap. The Cougars dropped to 15-13 overall and 5-3 in the OVC. The Redhawks improved to 24-15 overall and 8-4 in the OVC.

"We have to make pitches in crucial situations, and we have to come up big offensively in the clutch when it matters," said SIUE Head Coach Sandy Montgomery. "And we're not doing that right now. That's why you lose games."

Montgomery saw some positives with home runs from Alyssa Heren, Haley Adrian and Maria Prete. For Prete, it was her first career home run.

"She came up big," said Montgomery. "She hit it hard, and I'm very happy for her. She has accepted her role as a pinch hitter for quite some time. She embraces the role and comes up big when we give her an opportunity."

"As soon as she hit the ball, everyone knew it was out," said Heren. "Everyone thought it would be a game changer, but we didn't end up producing in the end."

After hitting the home run as a pinch hitter to lead off the seventh in game one, Prete earned a spot in the lineup as the designated player for game two. She added a second-inning single to her day.

Heren was perhaps the hottest hitter of the day with three hits in game one, including a pair of doubles, and two hits in the nightcap.

"She was on fire in the first game," said Montgomery. "That (the home run) was the best ball she has hit all year. It went over the scoreboard in right center."

"I'm definitely more comfortable," added Heren. "After that getting that first hit, the bat feels a little lighter. Everything seems easier when you get that first hit out of the way."

Sunday's games at Cougar Field has been cancelled due to weather. A makeup date has not been announced.

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