Fifth-Inning Surge Lifts UIC To Victory Over Loyola
March 29, 2013
CHICAGO - Junior Jenna Marsalli hit a one-run double up the middle to score senior Kara Komp, before freshman Laura Swan recorded an RBI with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fifth to edge Loyola, 2-1 Friday at Flames Field.
"I am just really proud of our kids today," head UIC softball coach Michelle Venturella said. "I thought it was a great win because both teams were really battling. We had two solid pitchers, and I thought Brittany Gardner did a really nice job. I think our offense put pressure on them almost every inning, which I loved seeing. Now, we just need to keep sticking to the process, and I think that was what we did in the fifth inning. We just kept sticking to it and making the adjustments that were needed. It is always a tough series against Loyola, and we are looking forward to coming prepared tomorrow."
In a contest that served as the conference and home opener for the Flames, senior Devin Miller started inside the circle for UIC. She earned the win to improve her record to 7-11.
UIC and Loyola each recorded seven hits against Brittany Gardner, who was the 2012 Horizon League Pitcher of the Year. Komp and senior Coryn Schmit led the Flames with two, while Marsalli, Swan and senior Melissa Preish each added one hit.
Neither team scored a run until the fifth inning when left-fielder Olivia Bell led off the frame with a solo homerun. Then, with the bases loaded and no outs, the Flames defense battled back to limit the Ramblers run to just the one run in the inning.
In the bottom of the fifth, Komp and Schmit reached on base hits, before Marsalli doubled to centerfield to score Komp. Swan then hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score Schmit. Those two runs made the difference as the Flames held off the Ramblers in the sixth and seventh frames to begin the conference schedule with a 1-0 record.
UIC concludes the three-game series against Loyola Saturday with a doubleheader at Noon (CT) at Flames Field.