Softball Settles For Second After Loss To #7 Tennessee In GSU Invitational Title Game

Senior Cameron Astiazaran batted .429 with three doubles and three RBI for UIC this weekend.
Senior Cameron Astiazaran batted .429 with three doubles and three RBI for UIC this weekend.

Feb. 20, 2005

Box Score

Statesboro, Ga. - The UIC softball team was unable to post the first blemish on #7 Tennessee this season as the Flames strong opening weekend ended with an 8-0, five-inning loss to the Lady Vols on Sunday in the championship game of the Georgia Southern Invitational.

UIC advanced to the title game with a 10-3 triumph over Mercer earlier in the day.

The Flames finished their first weekend of competition with a 4-3 record with two those losses coming to 13-0 Tennessee.

Senior Cameron Astiazaran paced UIC offensively, batting .429 at the GSU Invitational with three doubles and three RBI.

Freshman Mercedes Lovato proved to be the Flames' star in the circle, enjoying a perfect 3-0 record over the weekend with a 2.33 ERA.

Here is a look back at UIC's two games on Sunday.

GSU Invitational Semifinals - UIC 10, Mercer 3

The UIC softball team pounded out a season-high 14 hits and freshman pitcher Mercedes Lovato remained undefeated in the circle as the Flames rolled to a 10-3 victory over Mercer in the GSU Invitational semifinals.

The Flames, who were shutout by the Bears (6-9) earlier in pool play, got their revenge on Sunday morning, plating four runs in both the second and third innings before concluding the scoring with a pair of tallies in the fourth.

Senior Cameron Astiazaran led the way for UIC at the plate, tying the school single-game hit record with a 4-for-5 performance with three RBI.

Junior Joyce Cathey also went 3-for-3 with a pair of RBI for the Flames while junior Nicole Shepard went 2-for4 with her first home run of the season.

Lovato took care of the rest for UIC, moving to 3-0 on the year as the rookie allowed just three runs, two earned, on five hits in seven innings.



Shepard got things going for the Flames in the top of the second inning with a leadoff home run to centerfield. Freshman Lauren Brennan (2-for-4) followed with a walk and scored two batters later on a triple by Cathey. Astiazaran would then single home Cathey and scored later on a passed ball for a 4-0 UIC lead.

After Mercer tallied a run of its own in the bottom of the second, the Flames tacked on four more in the third. Astiazaran and Hernandez each tabbed RBI singles while two more runs scored on a Bear error and wild pitch.

UIC's lead was 8-2 in the top of the fourth when Cathey drove in a run and Astiazaran recorded an RBI single for the third straight inning.

GSU Invitational Championship Game - #7 Tennessee 8, UIC 0 (5 inn.)

The UIC softball team was unable to crack #7 Tennessee ace Monica Abbott as the reigning USA Softball National Player of the Week limited the Flames to just two hits while striking out 11 in the Lady Vols' 8-0, five-inning victory to claim the GSU Invitational title.

Abbott fanned six of the first seven batters she faced and moved to 8-0 on the year with the win. Kristi Durant played Flame-killer for the second straight time this season at the plate, going 2-for-3 with four RBI.

UIC junior Brittany McIntyre (1-3) was tagged with the loss, allowing five runs on six hits in two innings of work.

The Lady Vols plated five runs in the bottom of the second inning and then tacked on three more off reliever Lauren Brennan in the fourth for the final 8-0 margin.

Senior Cameron Astiazaran and junior Meghan Gallagher recorded hits for the Flames.