The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville softball team posted a pair of victories Saturday - 8-0 in five innings over Jacksonville State and 2-1 over Murray State - to remain alive at the rain-plagued Ohio Valley Conference Tournament in Edwardsville.
With the victories, SIUE advanced into the championship round against Tennessee Tech. That game began at 9:50 p.m. and had not been completed in time for this edition of the Belleville News-Democrat.
With a victory by the Cougars, a second championship-round game would be played Sunday at 10 a.m.
The tournament’s top seed, SIUE was knocked into the losers’ bracket with a 4-1 loss to Tennessee Tech on Thursday, but rebounded with a 10-2 rout of Eastern Illinois on Friday.
Against Jacksonville State, the Cougars broke open a 2-0 game with five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Rebecca Gray had an RBI single, while Alex McDavid hit a two-run homer, giving her three RBIs in the game. A pair of runs also scored on a Jacksonville State infield error.
Haley Chambers (25-7) tossed her OVC-leading eighth shutout of the season with a two-hitter. She struck out five and is now the all-time single-season leader in school history with 307 strikeouts.
The Cougars trailed 1-0 going into the top of the sixth inning of its game against Murray State. McDavid came through with a single that tied the game. Kelsey Hansen, who had pinch ran for Allison Smiley, who had singled, later scored the winning run when Amy Hunt connected for sacrifice fly.
Chambers pitched the 4 2/3 innings for the Cougars, allowing one run on three hits. Baylee Douglass (17-7) pitched the final 1 1/3 innings and earned the win. She allowed no hits and struck out two.