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Cougars Gain Split on Opening Day

Sammie Ofoia
Sammie Ofoia

HAMMOND, La. – SIUE softball finished 1-1 to start the Lions Classic II, gaining a 5-4 win over UTSA and dropping an 8-6 matchup against Prairie View A&M.

Interim Head Coach Jessica Jones said there were numerous positive moments for the Cougars. That was in spite of opening day providing a challenge with rain throughout the two games on the turf field at North Oak Park.

"We know we have the offensive production that we're never out of any game," said Jones.

The Cougars started on the right track from the first pitch of the game as Alana Cobb-Adams singled down the right field line. She scored on a double by Alyssa Heren, who would later score on a UTSA infield error.

Cobb-Adams made it three runs for the Cougars in the third with a double. She stole third base and scored on an infield out to the right side of the infield by Bailley Concatto.

SIUE's two others runs came in the fourth as Sammie Ofoia singled and moved to second on a hit by pitch by Reagan Curtis. Both scored on a second UTSA error.

Emily Ingles captured the win in the opener in five innings of work. Corrina Rivas recorded the save over the final two innings, including back-to-back strikeouts looking to end a seventh-inning threat.

In SIUE's second game, the big bats emerged with home runs by Curtis in the second inning and Ofoia in the seventh.

For Ofoia, it was career home run number one on day one of her collegiate career.

"It was very relieving to hit that home run today," said Ofoia. "I wanted to help my team out. My mindset was to hit the ball and whatever happens will happen."

The Cougars were down by four runs heading into the bottom of the seventh. Heren began SIUE's charge with a bunt single to the left side of the infield. Ofoia followed with a long home run to left center at North Oak Park's field one.

"That was an experience of a lifetime," added Ofoia.

"We talked to them before the seventh inning about getting behind and through the ball," said Jones.

Zoe Schafer collected her first hit of the season in the seventh inning, a single up in middle. Amber Storer added a double to left, but both runners were stranded to end the game.

Rivas took the loss in game two as the starter.

Jones also noted the play of junior outfielder Conner Cutright. She had two hits and drew a pair of walks. Her .571 on-base percentage matched Heren for the team lead after day one.

"Conner had a great day," said Jones. "She is patient at the plate. She is showing her maturity at the plate."

SIUE continues play Saturday at the Lions Classic II with an 11 a.m. game against Texas A&M Corpus Christi and a 3:30 p.m. matchup against Missouri State. The tournament finishes Sunday when SIUE meets host Southeastern Louisiana at 11 a.m.

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