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SIUE advances in OVC Tournament
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SIUE advances in OVC Tournament

PEORIA – SIUE softball eliminated UT Martin from the Ohio Valley Conference Championships Wednesday with a 6-1 win at the Louisville Sports Complex.

In game two of the day, Southern Indiana upended the Cougars 4-0. SIUE will now move to the consolation bracket and will play Thursday at 3 pm against the loser of the Southeast Missouri-Tennessee State matchup that begins tournament play earlier in the day at 10 am

SIUE was idled offensively against Southern Indiana, yielding hits by Danielle Shuey and Lauren Yslava.

Southern Indiana, 23-20, fell to OVC Pitcher of the Year Josie Newman, who benefited from 10 Screaming Eagles hits. Kelsey Ray took the loss for the Cougars.

“Kelsey battled in the circle and pitched us out of several jams,” said SIUE coach Ben Sorden. “Newman threw a good game at us. We hit a number of balls hard but unfortunately right at people.”

In SIUE’s opening game of the tournament, The eighth-seeded Cougars jumped out early against UT Martin, 30-22, with a solo home run by Emma Henderson in the second inning. An 0-1 pitch went opposite field and was a line drive over the right field fence.

“I liked how we were in the attack offensively and we contributed throughout the lineup,” said Sorden, “Sydney Baalman was outstanding in the circle and stymied their bats all day.”

Baalman went the distance for the victory and is now 7-16 for the season. She yielded just two UT Martin hits and struck out seven.

SIUE added to the lead for Baalman in the fourth inning. Grace Lueke led off with a walk, and Anna Henderson made it runners on second and third with a double to left center. Emma Henderson would ground out to drive home Lueke. Anna Henderson would score on a UT Martin infield error.

The lead increased to 5-0 in the fifth on a Lueke sacrifice fly that scored Kaylynn Salyars and an RBI single by Anna Henderson.

UT Martin scored its only run in the sixth. With the Skyhawks threatening further Jenna Herron made the play of the tournament so far with a catch in left field. Herron made a play on a ball from Kiersten Nixon in which she caught the ball and ran into the fence within a split second.

SIUE used back-to-back-to-back singles from Herron, Lueke and Anna Henderson to add an insurance run in the seventh.