ST. CHARLES, Mo. - Kelsey Ray tossed her first shutout of the season Saturday as SIUE softball gained a split in the opening Ohio Valley Conference series at Lindenwood.

SIUE won the opener 10-0 in six innings and dropped the nightcap 7-2. The Cougars are now 9-11 overall.

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"Kelsey Ray continues to be fantastic in the circle," said SIUE Head Coach Ben Sorden. "She had several nice innings, controlled the count and kept their batters off-balance."

Ray struck out two and allowed just four hits. Nine batters flew out and seven batters grounded out in a balanced effort in the circle.

Ray was the beneficiary of a strong offensive effort as well.

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Paige Rocha ripped three hits and drove home two runs. Jenna Herron and Lauryn Yslava each finished with two RBIs. Grace Lueke, Piper Montgomery and Amber Morgan also had a hit in the contest.

"We came out hitting the ball hard," said Sorden. "I was happy to see that we were on the attack."

Game two was Lindenwood getting off to a strong start and holding steady. The Lions managed five runs in the first inning.

"Game two we spotted them five runs on defensive miscues, and anything we hit seemed to be hit right at somebody."

SIUE and Lindenwood each finished with seven hits in game two. Herron paced the Cougars with two hits and an RBI. Anna Henderson singled home the first run of the game for SIUE.

The two teams play the rubber game of the series Sunday at Lou Brock Complex. Game time is 1 p.m.

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