SIUE faces three-game series with SEMO
EDWARDSVILLE -- The schedule for the Southern Illinois University Edwarsdville softball team adjusted to a Friday-Saturday setup once again. This time, it was Easter Sunday instead of the weather.
SIUE travels to Cape Girardeau, Mo., to take on Southeast Missouri for a 1 p.m. doubleheader Friday and a single game Saturday at 1 p.m.
SIUE Head Coach Sandy Montgomery said the Cougars try to focus on what they can control.
"We're going to get out of the bus and play at SEMO," said Montgomery. "We try to worry about ourselves and not worry about everything else."
The Cougars are coming off a 5-1 week and garnered both an Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Week (Alex McDavid) and Pitcher of the Week (Haley Chambers).
"We're playing well," said Montgomery, "We're kind of up and down. We have some players who have been hitting consistently and pitching consistently. That's what needs to happen for us to continue to be successful."
Montgomery said preparation continues to be a challenge. After Sunday's nearly 12 inches of snow in Edwardsville, she said the SIUE softball grounds crew was able to get the Cougar Field infield ready Thursday.
"Give some kudos to our grounds crew for getting us on the field today," said Montgomery.
In other Cougar news, the April 20 and 21 doubleheaders against Tennessee Tech and Jacksonville State will start at 1 p.m. each day instead of noon.
Cougars have best RPI in OVC
EDWARDSVILLE, -- With the best overall record among Ohio Valley Conference teams, the Southern Illinois University Edwarsdville softball team also learned it currently has the best RPI (Ratings Percentage Index).
The RPI is a statistical tool used by the NCAA to determine the overall strength of teams using factors such as overall record and strength of schedule.
SIUE, 19-8 overall and 4-2 in the OVC, is ranked 58th in the RPI out of 291 Division I schools nationally.
"You always want to try and have a solid RPI. It's a long shot that the OVC gets more than its conference champion to the NCAA Tournament," said SIUE coach Sandy Montgomery. "But without a low RPI there is no chance. We try to schedule appropriately. You have to play some teams who are going to be playing in the power conferences so you know you have some strength even in losses."
Notably on SIUE's wins list is its victory over South Alabama which is currently ranked 13th in the RPI with a 27-5 record. The doubleheader sweep over Georgia Tech, ranked 69th in the RPI, also will help the Cougars. South Alabama, of the Sun Belt Conference, and Georgia Tech, of the Atlantic Coast Conference, have 11 conference opponents ranked among the top 100 nationally.
"It means that we scheduled well in the preseason," Montgomery said. "It tells us we were on the right track, and we've done a pretty good job. We just hope to continue to win some games, and we will see what happens."
Montgomery said playing good teams during the non-conference portion of the season not only is good for her program but also for the conference as a whole
"If we are ever going to get more respect for the OVC, I think making this a priority is something that all of our coaches and all of our other sports need to enhance," said Montgomery. "Our RPIs need to be better and the only way you are going do that is play better competition and win ball games."
McKendree defeats Missouri-St. Louis
BELLEVILLE --The McKendree University men's tennis team pushed its winning streak to nine matches on Wednesday following a 6-3 win over University of Missouri-St. Louis.
The Bearcats improved to 9-1 overall and will face University of Southern Indiana and Kentucky Wesleyan College on Friday and Saturday, respectively, for a pair of Great Lakes Valley Conference matches.
Bearcats fall To Missouri-St. Louis
BELLEVILLE -- The McKendree University women's tennis team dropped a 7-2 decision to University of Missouri-St. Louis on Wednesday.
The Bearcats fall to 4-3 overall and will hit the road this weekend for Great Lakes Valley Conference matches at University of Southern Indiana on Friday, followed by a match at Kentucky Wesleyan College on Saturday.
SIUE announces 2013 recruiting class
EDWARDSVILLE -- Southern Illinois University Edwarsdville women's soccer coach Derek Burton has announced his recruiting class for the 2013 season. Jorie Clawson (Saint Charles, Ill.), Kayla Delgado (Belleville), Alexandra Johnson (Omaha, Neb.), Cory Levels (Cary), Christine Martinez (Albuquerque, N.M.), Kassidy Rawdon (Maryville), and Jenna Springer (Omaha, Neb.), have each signed National Letters of Intent to play soccer for the Cougars.
"Our 2013 group is a diverse recruiting class: from geographic, personality, and playing characteristic standpoints," Burton said. "I love the energy their diversity will bring.
"At first glance it may seem like a sizable part of the group plays similar positions. The labels of positions tend to do that," Burton continued. "The reality is that a few have played in similar spots, but their qualities are different and complimentary. And that falls in line with our philosophy of a total team of dynamic, well-rounded players who will allow us to continue to grow and develop so we can continue to play a dynamic brand of soccer. The qualities that our staff has seen in this group over the last year-plus gives us a ton of confidence in their ability to make an impact in our program, no matter where they ultimately end up on the field."
Delgado is a 5-foot-9 forward from Belleville East. Delgado played for Saint Louis Scott Gallagher-Metro for coaches Dale Schilly and Mitch Bohnak. Delgado's sister Marissa is a sophomore midfielder for the Cougars.
Rawdon is a 5-5 defender from Collinsville, where she played for coach Clay Smith. She played club soccer for Saint Louis Scott Gallagher-Metro where her coaches were Dale Schilly and Mitch Bohnak. She was a teammate of Kayla Delgado with Scott Gallagher.
Tennesse Tech edges Cougars
COOKEVILE, Tenn. -- Southern Illinois University Edwardsville starter Travis Felax threw eight shutout innings Friday night, but Tennessee Tech was able to push a run across in the bottom of the ninth inning for a 1-0 win in the opener of a three-game Ohio Valley Conference baseball series.
The Cougars fell to 6-14 overall and 4-6 in the OVC with the loss. Tennessee Tech improved to 20-6 overall and 9-1 in the OVC. The Golden Eagles extended their winning streak to an NCAA Division I-best 13 games.
The game's lone run came against Cougar reliever Jake Stauffenberg. Tennessee Tech first baseman Zach Stephens walked with one out, and then advanced to second on a balk. Stephens was removed for pinch runner Zephan Guyear. Two batters later Daniel Miles singled to drive in Stephens with the game-winning run.
Felax lowered his season ERA to 1.63, while allowing just three hits over eight innings. He struck out five and walked two. He has turned in four consecutive starts in which he last at least eight innings. He has tossed at least seven innings in five consecutive starts.
"Travis was dominant again," SIUE Interim Head Coach Tony Stoecklin said. "Both starting pitchers were really good tonight."
Tennessee Tech starter Tristan Archer (5-1) allowed just four hits en route to his second complete game, and first shutout, of the year. He struck out eight and walked two.
The Cougars' four hits came from four separate players. Travis Becherer, James Vazquez, Joel Greatting, and Devin Caldwell each had hits for SIUE.
"This is the third week in a row we've lost a one-run Friday night game," Stoecklin said. "I think the guys are bothered by being shut out again."
The teams play the second game of the three-game series Friday night. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m.
"We just have to find a way to bounce back and get a win," Stoecklin added.