The Cougar softball team continued its fall season with two wins this weekend on the road against Southern Illinois University Carbondale and John. A Logan College SSSaturday, Oct. 3. The Cougars improved to 6-0 in the fall season with a 14-5 rout of John A. Logan and a 3-2 win over SIUC.
Head Coach Sandy Montgomery said she was satisfied with the overall play in both games.
“We have many new players, and I am pleased with the way our team was able to work together and bring home both wins,” Montgomery said. “It’s always a good day when you can pick up two wins in one day.”
Montgomery said she was also happy with the way her team adapted to each game.
“There was a huge difference between playing John A. Logan, a smaller team that made more mistakes, and a Division I Carbondale team who executed really well, both on offense and defense,” Montgomery said.
Sophomore pitcher Ashley Koziol held the Volunteers t to just seven hits and picked up her third win of the season. The Cougars were able to score a season high of 14 runs against John A. Logan.
“Our team did really well in capitalizing on the other team’s mistakes in our first game,” Montgomery said. “We executed well on offense while playing strong defense.”
The Cougars edged past the Salukis 3-2 in the last inning. The teams traded runs throughout the game until junior outfielder Whitney Lanphier drove in the game-winning RBI for the third consecutive hit of the inning.
Lanphier, along with senior outfielder Jordan LaFave and freshman utility player Alyssa Heren, finished the double header with three hits each.
Sophomore pitcher Baylee Douglass had seven strikeouts while earning her third win of the season. Douglass pitched three up, three down in the last two innings of the game.
“I was very happy with the way [Douglass] pitched. She was able to get us out of some jams,” Montgomery said.
Although the fall season is coming to an end, Montgomery said she still has a few goals in place for the team’s last two games.
“There are no exhibition games in our sport, so we are using this season to make sure all cylinders are running for our upcoming spring season,” Montgomery said.
With a tough spring season that will open at Florida Atlantic University, Montgomery said the main focus of their fall season is to help strengthen the mindset of this young team. Montgomery said she wants to focus on building trust and a strong mentality that will carry the team late into its spring season.
“We have a lot of young players — five freshmen and six sophomores. So of course we have experienced some growing pains,” Montgomery said. “Trusting one another is crucial for the success of any team.”
The Cougars will close their fall season with a double header against Lakeland Community College at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10 at Cougar Field. They will defend their perfect record and hope to keep the steam rolling into the spring season.