Haley Chambers earned her 19th victory of the season on her sixth shutout as Southern Illinois University softball defeated Saint Louis 5-0 at Cougar Field on Wednesday in Edwardsville.
Chambers tossed a one-hitter and earned the win with just 85 pitches. SIUE improved to 33-9 while Saint Louis dropped to 25-15.
"That's probably the best we've played midweek all year along, and I was very happy with our performance overall," said SIUE coach Sandy Montgomery.
The junior left-hander now has a no-hitter, a one-hitter, and four two-hitters this season among her shutouts.
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"I felt really good about my performance today," said Chambers. "It was a lot better than I have been throwing. I was zoned in and focused the whole time."
Montgomery said Chambers, who had five strikeouts, threw well against a good hitting team in the Billikens.
"They are hitting .300 as a team, and they're leadoff hitter is hitting nearly .500," she noted.
SIUE's offense also was zoned in with 11 hits for the game, including nine off SLU starter Brianne Lore. Lore is now 12-9 after yielding all five runs in her four innings pitched.
Chambers got the Cougars started in the first inning with a double to left field. After a passed ball, Allison Smiley collected her 30th RBI of the season with a single to right. Smiley then stole second and scored on a Rachel Keller single to right field.
"When we have a lead, we play with a lot of confidence," said Montgomery. SIUE is now 9-3 this season when scoring in the first inning.
Smiley made it 3-0 in the third inning beginning with a double to left field. Alex McDavid's blast to center was run down on the warning track by SLU center fielder Lindsay Friedman. Smiley moved to third as an errant throw by Friedman was off line. Smiley then scored on a wild pitch.
The Cougars added two runs in the fifth. Brittany Toney started the inning with a single up the middle. After Kelsey Hansen went in to pinch run, Haley Adrian singled to center field and advanced to second on the throw home. Hansen was held up at third, but both Hansen and Adrian scored on the next play as Chambers singled through the left side of the infield.
Chambers, who leads the team with 32 RBIs, has shown confidence not only as a pitcher but also as a hitter.
"If I make a mistake on defense, I can come in and actually help myself," said Chambers.
Smiley and Adrian joined Chambers in having two hits for the Cougars. A two-out double in the fourth inning by Allie McFarlane was SLU’s only hit of the game.
The Cougars, winners of four straight games, continue this home stand this weekend with a 1 p.m. doubleheader against Belmont on Saturday and a 1 p.m. Sunday doubleheader against Tennessee State.