Flames Defeat St. Mary's College
Feb. 11, 2012
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - Junior Coryn Schmit (Hawthorn Woods, Ill./Lake Zurich) hit a walk-off homerun to defeat St. Mary's in five innings, 11-1 Saturday at the Hotel Encanto Invitational at the New Mexico Softball Complex in Las Cruces, N.M. The team notched a four-run fifth inning, but UTEP was able to outlast the UIC squad, 10-4.
Sophomore and leadoff batter, Natalie Hernandez (Glendora, Calif./Glendora) began the day in fashion as the shortstop hit a homerun over the left centerfield wall to give the Flames a 1-0 advantage in the bottom of the first inning. From there, junior Melinda Macias (Chino, Calif./Don Antonio Lugo) had a base hit into shallow center field, and sophomore Jacki Fletcher (Lowell, Ind./Lowell) cleared the bases with a homerun into left centerfield to improve the UIC lead to 3-0 over St. Mary's.
The Gaels answered in the top of the third inning as left fielder Michelle Mounts had a two-run homerun, which tied the score at 3-3, but the lead didn't last long as Fletcher crossed the plate in the bottom of the third to place the score at 4-3.
Senior Kelsey Sturgeon (Ranchos Palos Verdes, Calif./Palos Verdes Peninsula) redeemed herself from the heartbreaking homerun she had stripped away at the conclusion of the Indiana game with a three-run shot to left field in the bottom of the fourth inning to knock in junior Coryn Schmit (Hawthorn Woods, Ill./Lake Zurich) and Fletcher to make the score 7-3.
UIC claimed the game in just five innings as Preish, Heeley and pinch runner, Teresa Aguilar (Chicago, Ill./Loyola Academy) scored in the bottom of the fifth, while the game was capped off with a walk-off homerun by Schmit to secure the contest in an 11-1 decision. Despite a four-run fifth inning for the Flames, UTEP held off UIC for a 10-4 victory.
UTEP earned a hefty 9-0 lead over the Flames in the bottom of the first inning. The game then remained scoreless until the top of the sixth inning when sophomore Jenna Marsalli (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) hit a two-run homerun, where she knocked in freshman Jessica Polfliet (Troy, Ill./Triad), who was pinch running for Fletcher that reached first base on a fielder's choice.
Freshman Erica Hampton (Wichita, Kan./Bishop Carroll) was walked, then senior Ashley Hewett (La Palma, Calif./John F. Kennedy) hit a stand-up double to left center field. With the bases loaded, UTEP posted back-to-back walks to drive in Hampton. Hewett would go on to be the last scoring run for the Flames as Macias hit a single, where there was a fielder's choice to throw out Aguilar en route to third base. UIC would place the score at 9-4, UTEP advantage to move into the bottom of the fifth inning.
UTEP went on to add one run in the sixth inning, which would place the eventual final score at 10-4.
The Flames conclude play at the Hotel Encanto Invitational in Las Cruces, N.M., Sunday as the squad faces host team, New Mexico State at 10:30 a.m. (CT).