Softball now 8-3 in conference

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Softball now 8-3 in conference

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The Billiken softball team is hitting its midseason stride, going 6-2 over its last eight games.  During the eight-game stretch, SLU played  three-game series with George Mason and Rhode Island, both Atlantic 10 opponents. The Bills also played single games against Missouri and Southern Illinois.

The eight games began with the George Mason series, March 28-29. The first two games were played in a doubleheader on April 28 and a lone game was played April 29.  In the first game of the double header, SLU topped the Patriots 8-5. Freshman Allie Macfarlane hit her sixth home run of the season in the win. SLU jumped out to a 4-0 lead by the second inning, but George Mason closed in, bringing the score to 6-4 by the fifth inning. SLU again took a four-run lead in the sixth, and the Patriots tallied one final run in the seventh to close the game at 8-5, advantage SLU.

In the night game, the Patriots had the upper hand, winning 6-5. The following day, SLU won in a walk-off fashion with junior pitcher Brianna Lore doubling home the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning. The hit secured the 4-3 victory for SLU.

For the next game, on April 1, SLU traveled to Columbia to take on No. 21 Mizzou, beginning a five-game road stretch. After three innings, Mizzou had the upper hand 5-1. However, SLU loaded the bases in the top of the fourth by way of a single, error and hit by pitch. Senior Lindsey Friedman was walked, bringing in a run to make the score 5-2. Then, Macfarlane stepped up to the plate with one out and hit a grand slam, her second of the season, to give SLU a 6-5 lead. However, this swing drove in the last runs of the game for SLU, as Mizzou won 10-6.

The Billikens traveled east to Kingston, Rhode Island, for a weekend series against the Rams. SLU swept the Rams over the three games, from April 3-4. SLU won the first game of a doubleheader on April 3, in five innings, 14-2. In the second game of the night, SLU jumped out to a 9-0 lead, but Rhode Island clawed its way back in. The game ended 9-8, SLU.

In the first game, SLU scored four runs in the first inning. Sophomore Alex Nickel and Lore both hit solo home runs to put the Billikens up 6-0, and junior Elizabeth Everingham also had a home run in the win.

The next game was a record-setting outing for Nickel. She had five hits in the second game of the day, a school record. She has the team-high batting average of .435, and reached base in eight of nine at-bats in the doubleheader.

Just like the first game the previous day, SLU again jumped out to an early first-inning lead the following day against the Rams. Freshman Alyssa Tarquinio hit a two-out grand slam, her third home run of the season, en route to an 8-3 Billiken victory and road sweep.

On April 6, SLU finished its road stretch in Carbondale, Illinois, against Southern Illinois. SLU again won in the last inning, 7-6, with only an out to spare. However, the game wasn’t always close, as SLU had a 5-0 lead after three innings. SIU answered, scoring two runs in the fourth, three in the fifth and one in the sixth to take a 6-5 lead.

SLU had multiple runners on base in the seventh, but Friedman hit a single that scored sophomore pinch runner Brittany Durant and sophomore Emma Buckles, securing the Billiken win, the team’s fourth straight.

SLU was supposed to have a home game against UT-Martin on April 7, but it was postponed due to weather. Next, SLU travels to face conference opponent George Washington for a three-game series, April 11-12. The Billikens then play another road game against SIUE on April 15, before returning to St. Louis to play La Salle on April 18.

With the current four-game win streak and 6-2 record over the last eight games, SLU is now 24-12 overall and 8-3 in the conference.