The Southeast Missouri State softball team took advantage of the Ohio Valley Conference's last-place squad Saturday.
Southeast swept a doubleheader from visiting Tennessee State 2-0 and 12-4. The nightcap was stopped after 4 1/2 innings due to the eight-run rule.
The Redhawks, who moved up to seventh place in the 11-team league, are 21-25 overall and 12-13 in conference play. TSU is 11-33 and 3-20.
"We are in a situation where we have to win every OVC game to get to the conference tournament," said Southeast coach Lana Richmond, whose squad has won seven of its last eight. "It was very important to get these wins today, but we have to keep doing it tomorrow and after this when we go to Murray State [next weekend]."
Alora Marble (12-12) pitched a three-hitter in the opener. She struck out three and walked three. It was her second shutout of the season and 19th complete game.
"Marble was in control today," Richmond said.
Southeast managed just five hits. The Redhawks scored single runs in the fourth and fifth innings, but only one was earned. Xia Wilson had Southeast's lone RBI.
The Redhawks bats exploded in the nightcap. Southeast scored eight runs in the first inning and finished with 16 hits.
Renee Kertz led Southeast's offense by going 3 for 4 with a home run and five RBIs.
Wilson went 3 for 3. Evan Sallis, Cheyenne Gipson and Lindsey Patterson all added two hits. Sallis scored three runs.
Shea Cothren (6-9) earned the win in the circle. She allowed five hits and two runs, one earned, over three innings. Stefanie Barnes pitched a scoreless inning.
Southeast will celebrate senior day today when the Redhawks and TSU close out their three-game series at 1 p.m.
The Redhawks, who still have a nonconference home doubleheader remaining, will honor seniors Barnes, Gipson, Kertz, Sallis and Shelby Stein before today's contest.
Southeast junior Taylor Westrick finished her impressive season Friday by placing 28th among 85 gymnasts at the NCAA Championships in Duluth, Ga.
Westrick, the first Southeast gymnast to qualify for national competition since the program moved up to Division I in 1992, scored a 9.850 during the second semifinal session.
"The experience here was fantastic," Westrick said. "The noise was deafening. It was such an amazing atmosphere. I learned a lot tonight after having to do a beam routine in this environment.
"Seeing the top 12 schools compete motivates me to get back to the gym and work harder. They had such great technique and stuck all of their landings. I can't wait to get back in the gym."
Said Southeast coach Kristi Ewasko: "Taylor did an awesome job tonight. She competed with the best and outscored some of the top collegiate gymnasts in the country. She has every right to hold her head high after tonight. Her performance was a source of pride for both herself and the Southeast gymnastics team."
Southeast captured six titles while competing at two venues Friday.
Five of the victories came at the Lenny Lyles/Clark Wood Invitational in Louisville, Ky.
Angelica Larrier and DeAndre Simmons won the women's and men's 100 meters and 200 meters, respectively. Both athlete recorded career-best times in both events.
Larrier posted marks of 11.68 seconds in the 100 and 24.06 seconds in the 200. Simmons went 10.73 in the 100 and 21.32 in the 200.
Southeast's other victory in Louisville came from Jerika Lewis in the 400 (55.27).
Southeast also got notable career bests from Tiffany Mead in the 800 (third; 2:14.97), Cara Harbstreet in the high jump (fourth; 5 feet, 6 inches) and Shemeika Brewer in the long jump (second; 19-4)
Jill Schnurbusch cleared 12-3 1/2 in the pole vault, which tied for the top mark, but she placed second after a jumpoff.
Two other Southeast athletes finished second after career bests: Reggie Miller in the long jump (23-2 3/4) and Kevin Farley in the shot put (58-2).
Southeast sent some of its distance runners to the Vanderbilt Invitational in Nashville, Tenn.
Brent Collins reached a career best and won the 3,000 steeplechase (9:12.05).
Southeast got career bests in the 5,000 from Jessica Bollinger (fifth; 17:19.80) and Rebekah Lawson (sixth; 17:25.97).
Tyler Mullen was sixth in the 5,000 (15:09.89).
-- From staff reports