NASHVILLE, Tenn.-- Belmont Softball was finally able to get in a pair of contests on its home field this weekend after having its schedule rearranged for the last 10 days because of rain. The Bruins (20-7, 1-3 OVC) hosted SIUE (14-11, 5-1 OVC) at E.S. Rose Park, splitting on Saturday. BU earned another shutout in game one, 1-0, but was held off in the nightcap despite a late rally, 3-1.
The opening game was a pitchers duel for the teams between sophomore Brooklin Lee (Burns, Tenn.) and SIUE's Corrina Rivas. The pitchers kept the matchup stalemated at 0-0 through the first five innings of play. Even with a double in their half of the sixth frame, the Cougars were unable to score a run. In it's half of the same, Belmont only needed to look to senior Lexi Rouse (Macon, Ga.). She smacked a solo homerun over the left fence to put BU ahead, 1-0. That would be all BU needed as it kept the Cougar bats quiet for the remainder of the game to hold on for the 1-0 win.
In the nightcap, the Cougars posted a single run in each of the top halves of the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to take a 3-0 lead. Even with pitching changes for the Bruins, they seemed unable to slow the additional runs crossing the plate. Finally, BU was able to make a last effort push in the bottom of seventh frame. Back-to-back singles by junior Baylee Cook (Lewisburg, Tenn.) and senior Jess Andree (Darien, Ill.) gave the team one of its best opportunities. Cook moved to third on a fly out and was pushed over the plate, thanks to a sacrifice fly by junior Chelsea Thomas (Hot Springs, Ark.), for Belmont's lone run of the game. Despite moving another runner into scoring position, BU was unable to cut into the SIUE and fell, 3-1.
For the day, Cook led the Bruins at the plate, hitting .500 with a double. Andree and junior Hayley Baker (Rockwall, Texas) each also notched a double in the pair of games while Rouse drilled her eighth homerun of the season.
Lee went the distance in game one, logging eight strikeouts, for her eighth shutout of the season. The nightcap saw Lee, Rouse and freshman Alicia Veltri (Clarksville, Tenn.) all take a turn inside the circle.
Belmont returns to action on Wednesday, April 4 with a road game at in-state rival Memphis. First pitch is set for 5 p.m.