OXFORD, Ala. – Top-seeded Eastern Kentucky scored three runs in the top of the fifth Thursday to top SIUE 4-2 at the Ohio Valley Conference Championships.
Johnkyria Alston delivered a two-run single in the fifth to provide the extra cushion the Colonels, 39-16, needed.
SIUE dropped to 25-20 overall and next faces Eastern Illinois in an elimination game at 10 a.m. Friday.
SIUE's Zoe Schafer turned in the top offensive performance for both teams. The redshirt sophomore finished 3 for 3 with a single, a triple and a home run.
"I was hoping we could get somebody on with 9-1-2 coming up so we could give her a chance," said Montgomery. "She's a great hitter and did some nice adjustments off (Mollie) Paulick."
Schafer provided a huge boost in the bottom of the fifth with a two-run home run directly over the center fielder and well over the fence. That cut the lead in half and gave SIUE momentum.
In the third inning, Schafer ripped a triple to left field with two outs but was unable to score.
Mollie Paulick earned the victory for Eastern Kentucky, her 20th of the season.
"Corrina is doing a good job," said Montgomery. "It's all about executing pitches and trusting the game plan. She's been very poised. I've been proud of her in this tournament.
"I just hate that we came up short in that game because I really felt like we had a chance," she added.