EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Ava Bieneman provided a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the eighth as SIUE walked off with a 6-5 victory over Southeast Missouri in the nightcap of Saturday's Ohio Valley Conference doubleheader.

SIUE improved to 8-19 overall and 8-12 in the OVC after defeating the first-place Redhawks in the final game of a three-game series. SEMO, 19-12 overall and 15-3 in the OVC, was denied its 20th win of the season despite winning the first game of the doubleheader 4-2.

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"That was a team effort," said SIUE Head Coach Jessica Jones. "They had ups and downs, but they fought as a team and pulled out the win."

SIUE found itself down 5-3 in the bottom of the seventh against SEMO ace Rachel Rook but found a way to come back. Bailley Concatto drew a walk to lead off the inning. SEMO then went to the bullpen for lefty closer Marisa Davis.

Bieneman, who was in the leadoff spot for the first time today, then laced a pitch from Davis through the right side. As Concatto moved to third, BIeneman aggressively extended her hit to a double.

Alana Cobb-Adams then flied out to right field on a sacrifice fly as Concatto scored and BIeneman moved to third.

With a 5-4 lead, SEMO returned the softball back to Rook in the circle. Amber Storer followed up with a fly ball to left field. This sacrifice fly easily scored BIeneman from third.

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With the game tied, SIUE retired SEMO three up and three down in the top of the eighth.

Zoe Schafer opened the inning with a double perfectly placed in right field. Two outs later pinch hitter Becca Duran drew a walk. Concatto then pulled a pitch toward first base and outhustled the SEMO first baseman for a hit. With the bases jammed, Bieneman provided the game winner.

Sydney Baalman went the distance for her fourth win of the season. She struck out five and allowed just one earned run in game where both teams struggled defensively.

"Sydney threw like a veteran on the mound, and Ava killed it at the plate," said Jones of her freshmen. "I'm so proud of them and excited to watch their careers grow."

In game one Sunday, SEMO outhit the Cougars 12-6 and would leave 16 runners on base. Paytience Holman earned the win, hurling five innings before Rook eventually threw the final out of the game and earned her second save of the season.

Emily Ingles (2-5) suffered the loss for the Cougars.

Next up for the Cougars is a three-game series next weekend at Tennessee Tech. The three-game set is scheduled for a doubleheader Saturday and a single game Sunday.

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