Hansen has hot bat, Cougars face Bears in midweek tilt

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Kelsey Hansen hit .500 last week for SIUE.

EDWARDSVILLE – SIUE softball will travel to Springfield, Missouri, for a 5 p.m. contest Wednesday at Killian Stadium.

SIUE, which moved above the .500 mark at 21-20 this past weekend for the first time since defeating Penn State to open the season, meets a Missouri State squad which stands at 17-27. The Bears had their Tuesday game with Wichita State cancelled due to weather concerns.

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SIUE Head Coach Sandy Montgomery's club has won eight of its last nine games and won all four of its Ohio Valley Conference contests this past weekend at Tennessee State and Belmont.

"I think we had some consistency last weekend," said Montgomery. "Obviously, our pitching has been keeping us in ball games.

Up and down the SIUE lineup, the Cougars were creating offense. The Cougars scored 27 runs over their last four games.

"Kelsey Hansen hit .500 on the weekend which was huge for us," said Montgomery. "Tess Eby is starting to get back going again. She hit .455 for the weekend."

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Montgomery's list of players swinging the bat well was lengthy.

"Rachel Keller has been swinging the bat really well but has been coming up empty," said Montgomery. "She has been hitting line drives right at people for the last two weeks so hopefully those balls will start to fall."

SIUE's pitching staff is now second in the OVC with a 2.45 earned run average. The league average is 3.87.

Montgomery said sophomore Baylee Douglass, who has two shutouts this past weekend, is getting sharper as the season progresses.

"She (Douglass) is tough to hit," said Montgomery. "If hitters aren't disciplined and aren't able to make adjustments against her, she will dominate them."

Missouri State is led by Olivia Roark with a .378 batting average. She has 31 hits in 31 games played. Madison Jones and Erin Duewel are tied for the team lead in hits with 38. Duewel provided much of the team's power with eight home runs and 32 RBIs.

Erin Struemph leads the Missouri State pitching staff with 10 wins, including three shutouts. She holds a 3.95 ERA. Kaitlin Beason is 6-8 with a team-leading 3.56 ERA


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