UT Martin Topples Cougars
MARTIN, Tenn. - SIUE softball's start in the Ohio Valley Conference season got off to a slow start as UT Martin took a pair of games Saturday 9-3 and 7-6.
SIUE fell to 7-14 overall and 0-2 in the OVC while the host Skyhawks improved to 12-9 overall and 2-0 in the OVC. The third game of the series is set for 1 p.m. Sunday at Bettye Giles Field.
"Our day boils down to performance, and we have to perform better," said SIUE Head Coach Sandy Montgomery. "We just have to have more consistency through the lineup whether it's pitching, hitting, or defense."
Samantha Stanicek put the Cougars up early in the opening game with an RBI single in the second inning to score Alex McDavid. SIUE would score two more runs in the sixth, including an RBI single by pinch hitter Brittany Toney.
UT Martin went for the big inning with its offense, rolling out a six-run rally in the third inning. A grand slam by Katie Reiff highlighted the inning. Kenzi Tate added a solo homer just after Reiff's home run.
Amanda Lambrecht, 4-5, went the distance and took the loss. Cheri Jones was the winning pitcher, striking out eight and improving to 8-3.
In the nightcap, the Cougars and the Skyhawks went toe to toe offensively.
SIUE's offense took advantage of an error to score twice in the second inning. In the bottom half of the same inning, Kenzi Tate recorded a sacrifice fly to cut the lead to 2-1.
But the Skyhawks offense chipped away at the lead quickly, answering with three runs in the bottom of the third. Reiff's two-run single in the inning put the Skyhawks back in the game.
"They were able to score runs with two outs, and that can't happen," said Montgomery.
UT Martin would tie the game in the fourth on a holo home by Leah Taylor and take the lead for good in the fifth on a RBI singles by Lauren Smith and Erica Duke.
Gray took the loss for the Cougars, her first of the season. Casey Vincent was the winning pitcher in a relief role.
SIUE outhit the Skyhawks 11-7 in the second game and stranded eight runners.