UIC Softball Wins Two To Open Hoosier Classic

Junior Natalie Hernandez had five hits and three RBI on the day.
Junior Natalie Hernandez had five hits and three RBI on the day.

March 15, 2013

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The UIC softball team (5-15) posted 21 hits on the day to propel the Flames to a 2-0 record to open the Hoosier Classic at the Andy Mohr Field in Bloomington, Ind. UIC dropped Central Michigan, 3-2 and Toledo 7-6.

"It was nice to come out and get two wins today," head coach Michelle Venturella said. "We hit the ball well all day and kept pressure on their defense. Devin [Miller] was solid in game one and competed well against Toledo. We had several people hit the ball well, but it was great to see T [Teresa Aguilar] have a solid day at the plate. Natalie [Hernandez] had a really strong day offensively, including the game-winning hit against Toledo. Courtney [Heeley] came through with the game-winning hit in the second game, which was nice to see."

UIC out-hit Central Michigan 10 to four, which proved to be the game-changer.

Junior Natalie Hernandez led the Flames offensively with three of UIC’s 10 hits and one of the team’s two RBI, while senior Melissa Preish posted two hits and freshman Laura Swan produced a hit and the other RBI.

Senior Devin Miller pitched seven complete innings and blanked six of the 34 batters she faced.

Hernandez led off the contest with a single to center field. Senior Kara Komp then reached base on a fielder’s choice that rung Hernandez up at second base. As a result of catcher’s interference, Preish reached first base moving Komp to second. With runners on first and second, Swan singled to center field to score Komp for an early 1-0 lead.

The Chippewas then answered in the bottom of the second inning with two runs, and the Central Michigan squad held the 2-1 lead until the Flames tied the contest at 2-2 in the top of the second inning.

Junior Jacki Fletcher ignited the tying run as she led off with a single, before sophomore Erica Hampton walked. Junior Courtney Heeley then laid down a sacrifice bunt to place move the runners to second and third. Freshman Alex Wyss then entered as a pinch runner for Hampton at second base. Then Hernandez singled through the left side to score Fletcher and record the RBI.

In the top of the seventh inning Komp singled, before Schmit and Marsalli walked to load the bases. Fletcher then came up with bat and due to a fielding error by the pitcher she reached first, while Komp scored to lead the game 3-2. The Flames then held off the Chippewas in the bottom half of the frame to capture the victory.

Hernandez posted two hits and two RBI to lead the Flames, while senior Teresa Aguilar went 4-for-4 at the plate.

Toledo started the game with a run and added two more in the top half of the second frame for a 3-0 lead. UIC then answered with two runs in the bottom of the second as Marsalli led off the inning and was hit by a pitch, before Fletcher doubled to score Marsalli. Fletcher then eventually scored off of a ball hit by Hernandez.

With the score in Toledo’s favor, 3-2 the Rockets then added one more run in the third and fourth innings to extend their lead to 5-3. The Flames posted one run in the bottom of the fourth inning and three in the bottom of the fifth to grab a 6-5 lead over the Rockets.

Toledo again answered in the sixth inning to tie the game at 6-6.

Heeley then recorded the game-winning RBI with a single up the middle to score Fletcher and secure the 7-6 victory over Toledo.

UIC continues the Hoosier Classic Saturday with a rematch against Toledo at 9:00 a.m. (CT), followed by Indiana at 11:15 a.m.