It didn't take long for the Southeast Missouri State softball team to put its rough start to the season in the rearview mirror.
Southeast opened Ohio Valley Conference play Saturday by sweeping a road doubleheader from first-year OVC member SIU-Edwardsville.
Both games went extra innings. The Redhawks won the opener 11-4 in nine innings and the nightcap 8-6 in eight frames.
The Redhawks, who entered play having lost five straight, improved to 5-11 overall. The Cougars are 7-16. The squads close out their three-game series today.
Southeast and SIU-E ended the opener's regulation seven innings tied 3-3.
The Redhawks scored once in the top of the eighth but the Cougars answered with a run in the bottom of the frame.
Southeast then exploded with a seven-run ninth inning. Freshman Shelby Kuryllo provided the game-winning blow, a grand slam that snapped the 4-4 tie. It was her first collegiate home run.
Junior Renee Kertz had three hits, including two doubles. Senior Carmen Fowler had three hits and two RBIs. Senior Nicole Troncoso added two of Southeast's 14 hits.
Freshman Alora Marble was the winning pitcher with 1 2/3 innings of perfect relief.
The nightcap was tied 6-6 after seven innings when Troncoso delivered a two-run homer in the top of the eighth. The two-out blast was her first home run this year.
Southeast pounded out 15 more hits. Troncoso had three hits and four RBIs. Sophomore Taylor Cowan and junior Cheyenne Gipson also had three hits each. Sophomore Kaitlin Wallace added two hits.
Freshman Shea Cothren notched the victory with 4 2/3 innings of three-hit, shutout relief. She struck out three and walked none.
The Southeast gymnastics team ended its regular season Friday, losing 195.625-191.250 at perennial national power Auburn.
Southeast recorded one first-place finish. Senior Christina Sundgren won the all-around with a score of 38.900.
Sophomore Taylor Westrick was third on beam (9.825) and also placed third in the all-around (37.575).
Senior Brianna Gaddie was third on vault (9.800), while Gaddie and Sundgren tied for third on floor (9.750).
Sundgren also tied for fourth on bars (9.750). Freshman Megan Fosnow tied for fifth on vault (9.725).
The Redhawks host the five-team Midwest Independent Conference meet at 2 p.m. March 19.
The Southeast tennis team suffered a 7-0 home loss Saturday to IPFW.
IPFW, from Fort Wayne, Ind., improved to 16-3 while the Redhawks fell to 1-7.
Nikole Novikova, Southeast's No. 1 singles player, came closest to victory as she dropped a 4-6, 6-3, 10-7 (super-tiebreaker) decision to Amy Recht.
Novikova and Elizabeth Nyenwe had the Redhawks' best performance in doubles, falling 8-5 at No. 1.
IPFW lost only seven games total in the other seven matches.
Southeast returns to action March 19, when it hosts Western Kentucky at noon.
-- From staff reports