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Southeast Missouri State softball team clinches berth in OVC tourney with wins
Southeast swept host Morehead State to improve to 16-10 in the conference
The Southeast Missouri State softball team is back in the Ohio Valley Conference tournament.
Southeast, which finished last in the OVC a year ago, clinched a spot in the six-team tournament with Saturday's doubleheader sweep at Morehead State.
The Redhawks reached a season-high run total during their 14-7 win in the opener, then posted a 4-3 victory.
Southeast, victorious for the sixth time in its last seven games, evened its overall record at 25-25 and improved to 16-10 in OVC play. The Redhawks are fifth in the 11-team league.
The Redhawks had 25 hits in the twin bill, 24 of them singles.
Junior Cheyenne Gipson had a big day, going 6 for 7, including a triple.
Gipson also stole her team-high 19th base in 21 attempts. Her 19 thefts are tied for the fourth highest single-season total in school history.
Senior Carmen Fowler went 4 for 8. She raised her batting average to .415, which ranks as the highest single-season mark in Southeast history.
Fowler has 66 hits, third on the school's single-season list and just two off the record. She had two RBIs, giving her 41 this year to tie for sixth all-time.
Freshman Shelby Kuryllo went 4 for 7, while sophomore Kaitlin Wallace added three hits and three RBIs.
Junior Renee Kertz drove in her 44th run of the season, tying her for third all-time. She is just two RBIs off the record.
Southeast had a season-high 17 hits, all singles, in the opener. The Redhawks scored eight seventh-inning runs to break open things at 14-4.
Freshman Alora Marble (13-6) recorded her eighth straight win during her sixth consecutive complete game. She allowed seven runs, six earned, on 12 hits while walking one and tying her career high with seven strikeouts.
The Redhawks broke up a scoreless nightcap with four sixth-inning runs. The key blow was a two-RBI triple by Gipson, who had gone 162 plate appearances this year without an extra-base hit.
Sophomore Taylor Cowan (5-6) was the winner, allowing three runs on 11 hits in 6 1/3 innings.
Freshman Shea Cothren entered in the seventh inning of a 4-3 game, and MSU (19-33, 10-16) had the bases loaded with one out.
Cothren escaped the jam by retiring both batters she faced for her second save of the season.
Southeast and MSU close their three-game series today.