CARBONDALE — Brittany Toney unleashed a two-out, two-run homer in the top of the 12th inning as SIUE softball defeated SIU Carbondale 6-4 at Charlotte West Stadium.
"Alex McDavid hit a rope up the middle in the 12th and then Brittany came up big," said SIUE coach Sandy Montgomery.
The Cougars won their sixth straight game and improved their overall record to 23-8. SIU Carbondale dropped to 14-17.
Toney, the reigning Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Week, said she learned from her previous at-bats against SIU Carbondale losing pitcher Alyssa Wunderlich, now 5-8.
"It was a changeup that was in the zone and a little out," Toney said. Toney was able to get her hands extended and hit her fifth home run of the season tying her for the team lead with McDavid. Her teammates gathered at home plate to celebrate.
"They were just as excited as I was," Toney added.
Haley Chambers earned her 10th straight win with a 12-inning complete game victory. She struck out 13 and improved to 13-2 overall. The extra-inning game could have been taxing on the Cougar left-hander.
"I was pretty confident in myself," said Chambers.
SIUE had two previous leads in the game. The Cougars scored first when Samantha Stanicek singled home Toney in the second inning.
The Salukis, who were outhit 14-9, tied the game in the fourth on a home run by Jayna Spivey.
SIUE erupted for three runs in the fifth. Taylor Tooley singled home Rebecca Gray. After a McDavid double, CC Hutchinson drove home two runs with a double of her own.
SIU Carbondale added a single run in the sixth and then tied the game in the bottom of the seventh on a pair of unearned runs.
Montgomery said both teams had opportunities in extra innings. The Cougars stranded two runners in the ninth, and Stanicek nearly homered to left field in the 11th.
"We shut them down on some great defensive plays, and Haley got a couple of big strikeouts when we need them," Montgomery said. "It was just one of those games where you have to keep going."
Six different hitters had two or more hits. McDavid led the team with three followed by two each from Toney, Stanicek, Rebecca Gray, and Chelsea Yankolovich.
The Cougars will take their winning streak back in OVC play this weekend. SIUE welcomes Tennessee State to Cougar Field Saturday for a 1 p.m. doubleheader. Belmont, the OVC newest member, comes to Cougar Field for the first time Sunday for a 1 p.m. doubleheader.