AUBURN, Ala. – Haley Chambers threw a two-hit shutout Sunday as SIUE softball defeated Ohio State 6-0 on the final day of the Wilson/DeMarini Classic.
"Haley threw outstanding today," said SIUE Head Coach Sandy Montgomery. "She was pretty much on target. She just really handled them."
Chambers, who led off the game with a single, would eventually score on a stolen base in the first inning. McDavid tagged her first home run of the season later in the inning, putting the Cougars ahead 3-0 before the Buckeyes had their first opportunity to hit.
"We took the wind out of their sails right away," said Montgomery.
Once Ohio State, 11-5, got to the plate, Chambers didn't yield anything. She finished with 13 strikeouts, which matched her season and career high. The junior left-hander has now struck out 13 batters in a single game five times. It was her second shutout of the season as her record improved to 6-2.
Chambers said she was able to keep Ohio State hitters off balance. Getting a hit in the first inning also helped her confidence in the circle.
"It gets my adrenaline going," said Chambers.
SIUE's lead extended to 6-0 in the fourth inning. Brittany Toney opened the inning with a single. After Samantha Jones pinch-ran for Toney, Rebecca Gray reached on a fielder's choice. LaFave then hit her first home run of the season and boosted her season RBI total to 11.
Through 14 games last season, SIUE had just one home run. This season, the Cougars have seven different players who have homered for a total of 13 times.
"The kids are buying into the philosophy and hitting at a higher level. They are swinging through the ball, and that makes all the difference," said Montgomery.
Montgomery said she was pleased that the team played a strong seven innings and did not coast against Ohio State.
"You have to earn your respect every game," she said.
The Cougars next head to Florida for their spring break trip March 6-10. SIUE's first stop is the South Florida Tournament where the team faces Villanova, Georgetown, Seton Hall, North Florida, and Bowling Green. SIUE also has games in Ft. Myers, Fla., against Pittsburgh and Florida Gulf Coast.