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SIUE Softball Improves to 8-2

SIUE improved to 8-2 with Sunday's win
SIUE improved to 8-2 with Sunday's win

AUBURN, Ala. – SIUE softball closed out the Plainsman Invitational Sunday with a 5-2 triumph over Mercer at Jane B. Moore Field.

Haley Chambers-Book hit a two-run homer and struck out nine as the winning pitcher for the Cougars, which improved to 8-2. Mercer dropped to 4-4.

SIUE finished the weekend 3-2 and next head to Waco, Texas, for the Baylor Tournament Feb. 24-26.

"I think our talent is winning games, but we're not playing as well as I would like," said SIUE Head Coach Sandy Montgomery. The Cougar coach said the team made some mental mistakes but were able to get the win in spite of them.

Mercer jumped out to an early lead on an infield ground out in the first inning, but the Cougars peppered Mercer starter Stella Preston.

Kalei Kaneshiro hit her team-leading fifth double of the season in the second inning, driving home Paige Clinton to tie the game 1-1.

Kaneshiro, a freshman, said the Cougars are confident when it comes to comebacks.

"We worked so hard in the offseason so I'm confident with myself," she said. "In pressure situations, there's not as much pressure because we have a good lineup and players who had done it before."

Allison Smiley improved her season-leading RBI total to 12 with a two-run double to the gap in left center during the third inning. That drove home Reagan Curtis and Zoe Schafer.

Chambers-Book closed out SIUE's scoring in the fourth with her first home run of the season, blast to right field. It was her 11th career home run.

Chambers-Book also went the distance in the circle and improved to 5-1.

"She turned in on in the last inning and got us out of a big jam," said Montgomery. "Mercer is certainly a good team. They have good speed on the bases."

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