EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE softball unleashed 12 hits, including six of the extra-base variety, and tossed its 10th shutout of the season Tuesday in a 10-0, five-inning victory over Bradley at Cougar Field.
The Cougars improved to 28-7 overall while the Braves are now even at 18-18.
Haley Chambers-Book picked up her sixth shutout of the season with a three-hitter. She struck out three and lowered her season earned run average to 1.37.
"I thought she threw pretty well," said SIUE Head Coach Sandy Montgomery. "She was hitting her spots for the most part."
SIUE's offense wasted little time in giving Chambers-Book a lead.
Alyssa Heren was hit by the eighth pitch of the opening at bat for the Cougars. She stole second and scored on a double to right-center by Chambers-Book. Zoe Schafer blasted a double to left field that easily scored Chambers-Book. After Schafer advanced to third in a wild pitch by Bradley starter Emily Visnic, Reagan Curtis singled her home to put the Cougars up 3-0.
"Bradley is actually a really good hitting team," said Montgomery, "but when you come out and score three that early and continue to score and continue to put runners on as well as play good defense, that kind of takes the wind out of it."
Visnic lasted just four batters against the Cougars before yielding to Megan Mahaffy, who was able to get out of the first inning without giving up more runs, but the Cougars were just getting started.
Heren started the rally once more in the second inning with a bunt single. She stole second once again before Chambers-Book was issued a walk. Schafer added two RBIs on the next play, sending a ball deep to right-center. Heren and Chambers-Book scored on the play. Allison Smiley added her first RBI of the game on a double to left that brought home Schafer and gave SIUE a 6-0 lead after two innings.
Schafer made it 3 for 3 with a fourth inning single.
"My focus today was to keep it simple and have quality at bats," said Schafer. "That was one of our goals as a team."
Schafer would later score on a single by Smiley, who improved her season RBI total to a team-leading 30. Smiley also had three hits for the day.
"As a team, we came in very focused today," said Smiley.
SIUE is now on the road for its next five games. The Cougars travel to Eastern Kentucky for a Saturday doubleheader followed by a Sunday doubleheader at Morehead State. SIUE also travels to Champaign, Illinois, next Wednesday for a 5 p.m. contest against the Fighting Illini.