Cougars Run Win Streak to Five Games
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE softball won its fifth straight game Sunday with a 2-1 victory over Tennessee State in an Ohio Valley Conference matchup at Cougar Field.
Winning five games for the week, including two over Eastern Illinois and three against Tennessee State, the Cougars have climbed back into the OVC standings with a 5-6 record in league play. The Cougars now stand 13-19 overall.
Both teams had eight hits in the finale of the series, but a third inning bases-loaded walk to Amber Storer proved to be the difference.
“I thought our offensive approach was good,” said SIUE Interim Head Coach P.J. Finigan. “We hit a lot of line drives that didn’t find a hole. Amber puts a good at bat together and fouls off some pitches to draw a walk that ultimately gives us the lead for good.”
Sydney Baalman threw 6-plus innings for her fourth win of the season. She fanned four and scattered seven hits.
“She looked maybe the best she has looked, except for the Purdue game,” said Finigan. “To really battle with runners in scoring position was fantastic.”
Mia Haynes earned her second save of the season by getting the final two outs.
“We were looking at the matchups from what they did against her in the first game of the series,” said Finigan. “They really struggled against her. She had a lot of success against them.”
Tennessee State, 11-23 overall and 2-9 in the OVC, turned three double plays in the game. Francys King took the loss for the Tigers despite allowing just two third-inning runs. One was on an RBI single by Grace Lueke that scored Aerin Talley and the other a bases-loaded walk to Storer that scored Lexi King.
The Tigers mounted a comeback in the top of the fourth. With runners on second and third, Maggie Klug laced a pitch to SIUE left fielder Micah Arps. Although one run scored on a tag up, a heads up play ensued with Arps to catcher Piper Montgomery to Lueke at third base throw catching the runner at second trying to take an extra base.
SIUE now becomes road warriors with the next eight games on the road. It begins Tuesday with a makeup contest at Illinois. Start time is 5 p.m. The OVC schedule continues next weekend at Tennessee Tech.
“We’re starting to settle into a lineup and some roles after all of the injuries and everything else,” said Finigan. “Hopefully, we can continue to put some runs on the board and pitch it like this.”