EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – With plenty of seventh-inning heroics, SIUE softball swept a doubleheader from Eastern Illinois Tuesday at Cougar Field.
Both wins were 5-4, and both provided high drama.
SIUE improved to 17-13 overall and 7-3 in the Ohio Valley Conference. EIU dropped to 28-11 and 7-3 in the OVC.
"Eastern has been playing well," said SIUE Head Coach Sandy Montgomery. "They have good pitching and swing the bats well. We're happy with these two wins."
In game one, the Cougars scored four runs in the bottom of seventh after being down 4-1.
Sydney Bina, who started three rallies over the doubleheader, singled to left field off EIU starter Jessica Wireman.
"Something just clicked recently," said Bina. "I just got in the box and thought about what I needed to do and made it happen."
"She's not getting big hits, but she is making things happen, putting the ball in play and finding holes," said Montgomery. "That's what you have to do.
"Bailley Concatto came up huge," added Montgomery.
Zoe Schafer tied it up with an RBI single to center field that scored Concatto. Schafer took second on the throw home.
EIU went to its bullpen for Michelle Rogers, who intentionally walked Alyssa Heren. Some irony on that would come in game two.
Reagan Curtis extended the inning by being hit by a pitch.
Kalei Kaneshiro then hit a flair to right field just out of reach for a walk-off single.
Emily Ingles earned her 11th victory of the season in the circle.
"I was kind of disappointed in our intensity in game one," said Montgomery. "The kids turned it around and made some things happen."
In game two, EIU and SIUE traded single tallies in the first inning.
Alana Cobb-Adams broke it open with a two-run home run to left field, an opposite field blast in the fifth inning.
"It was just a really great feeling," the Cougar freshman said of her first career home run.
"She may not be known as a home run hitter, but she does have home run power," said Montgomery.
With single tallies again for both teams in the sixth, Eastern Illinois tied up the game in the top of the seventh with a pair of runs with an RBI hit by Haley Mitchell and an infield out RBI by Maria Devito.
The Cougars had another chance to walk off in the bottom of the seventh but did so in an odd fashion. With Cobb-Adams on third and Concatto on second, EIU called for Heren once again to be intentionally walked.
This time, however, the second pitch out of the strike zone got away from EIU catcher Andrea Roberts. Her throw back to EIU starting pitcher Rogers nearly had her called out, but Cobb-Adams slipped her foot under the tag for the game-winning run.
Corrina Rivas recorded the win for the Cougars.
SIUE returns to Cougar Field at 4 p.m. Wednesday for a nonconference battle against Saint Louis.