MOREHEAD, Ky. — Southern Illinois University Edwardsville tied Saturday's second game in the seventh and scored three more in the eighth to sweep past Morehead State in Ohio Valley Conference softball action.
SIUE, now 19-8 overall and 4-2 in the OVC, won the second game 5-2 in eight innings. The Cougars were 9-4 winners in game one.
SIUE coach Sandy Montgomery said the Cougars didn't have the sense of urgency it needed until late in the game.
"We have to keep pushing to play at a higher level every day," said Montgomery.
Morehead State, 10-10 overall and 0-4 in the OVC, led in game two for most of the contest. The Eagles scored two unearned runs off SIUE winning pitcher Erin Greenwalt, now 6-3, in the third inning.
The Cougars had stranded eight runners over the first six innings but were able score in the seventh.
"We left way too many runners on," said Montgomery.
Rebecca Gray led off the seventh with a single to right field. Chelsea Yankolovich sacrifice bunted her over to second. Taylor Tooley stretched out a single to two bases as Gray moved to third base. Alex McDavid then came up with the clutch hit, a single up the middle that scored Gray and Tooley.
"We're a strong hitting team," McDavid said. "We just have to follow through and do it."
SIUE tallied three runs in the eighth beginning with an RBI single by Tooley. Jordan LaFave and Tooley scored on an infield error by Morehead State shortstop Kayla Ashbrook off the bat of McDavid.
Tooley said the Cougars' hitting has been contagious.
"We're going in there with the right mindset," said Tooley.
Kelcey McMurray took the game two loss for Morehead State.
In Saturday's opener, SIUE used home runs by Rachel Coonrod, Brittany Toney, and McDavid to overpower the Eagles.
"They crushed them all," said Montgomery. "They had great at bats and really squared them up."
Haley Chambers won her seventh straight game and improved to 10-2 overall. She struck out six and did not walk a batter. She required just 81 pitches in the victory.
The Cougars needed a comeback in this game as well. After SIUE scored on a Coonrod single in the first inning, Morehead State got off to a strong start with three runs in the first. Elizabeth Wagner's two-run homer highlighted the inning.
SIUE tied the game in the fourth on a solo homer by Toney and an RBI single by Yankolovich. Wagner gave Morehead State the lead once more in the bottom of the fourth after hitting a double and scoring on an SIUE infield error.
The lead was SIUE's for good in the fifth when Coonrod hit her first home run of the season. The two-run blast put SIUE up 5-4. The Cougars added four more in the sixth, including the fifth homer of the season from McDavid.
Katie Pfost suffered the loss for Morehead State.
SIUE's road swing continues Easter weekend. The Cougars travel to Southeast Missouri beginning with a Friday 1 p.m. doubleheader. The final game of the series is set for Saturday at 1 p.m.