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    Softball Bounces Back For Doubleheader Split At Indiana
     

     
    Sophomore Becky Moran hit a pinch-hit grand slam in game two versus Indiana on Wednesday.
     
    Sophomore Becky Moran hit a pinch-hit grand slam in game two versus Indiana on Wednesday.
     
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    March 30, 2005

    Box Score

    Bloomington, Ind. - The UIC softball team shook off the rust of a week-long layoff in a 5-2 loss in the opener at Indiana on Wednesday afternoon to roar past the Hoosiers 14-3 in five innings in the nightcap to earn the doubleheader split at Indiana Softball Field.

    The Flames, who had their 11-game winning streak snapped in game one, now sit at 20-16 overall this year. Indiana is now 10-22 on the season.

    In game one, freshman Lauren Brennan just missed tying the game in the top of the seventh for the Flames in a 5-2 loss. Her bid for a dramatic three-run homer fell into the glove of Indiana's Kim Richards at the wall just left of the 220-foot sign in centerfield.

    On a blustery afternoon, Hoosier pitcher Megan Roark allowed a pair of solo home runs and 10 hits, but pitched her way out of several other jams, stranding 10 UIC base runners. She improved to 8-12 this season with the win.

    Flames junior Brittany McIntyre was the losing pitcher, falling back to .500 on the year at 8-8 after allowing five runs, four earned, in five innings of work.

    Senior Cameron Astiazaran wasted little time putting UIC on the scoreboard, leading off the game with a solo home run down the right field line. It was her team-high sixth homer of the season.

    The Hoosiers would take the lead back in the bottom of the first, capitalizing on a pair of Flames miscues in the field to take a 3-1 lead.

    Junior Nicole Shepard overran a Tory Yamaguchi single, which allowed Kim Richards to score from first for Indiana's first run. Lauren Hines followed with a walk and with Yamaguchi on third attempted to steal second. She slid in safely and Yamaguchi scampered home when catcher Liz Jacoby's throw bounced off shortstop Joyce Cathey's glove and into short right field. Rachel Terry made the score 3-1 with a single to center to score Hines.

     

     

    Hines made the score 4-1 in the bottom of the third with a solo blast to straight away centerfield.

    Trailing 5-1 in the top of the fifth, UIC answered as Jacoby hit her fourth home run of the season, lining a Roark offering over the centerfield wall to cut into the Hoosiers' lead.

    In the second game, UIC plated a season-high 14 runs and rapped out a season-best 17 hits in a 14-3, five-inning, run-rule victory over the Hoosiers.

    The Flames hit four home runs in the contest, including a pair of grand slams.

    Freshman Mercedes Lovato picked up her 12th win in the circle, allowing three runs on five hits in her five innings of work.

    Astiazaran, Brennan and Cathey each tabbed three hits to lead UIC.

    After leaving the bases loaded in the top of the first inning, the Flames exploded for six runs in the second highlighted by Brennan's first career grand slam.

    Junior Joyce Cathey (3-for-4, 2 RBI) started the scoring for UIC with an RBI double and was later chased home on a double to left by rookie Brittany Dixon to put the Flames ahead 2-0.

    After loading the bases with a walk to senior Sara Hernandez, Indiana pulled starter Katie Whitam (2-8) and brought in game one winner Megan Roark to try and pull the Hoosiers out of the jam.

    She induced a fielder's choice groundout from junior Nicole Shepard, but then Brennan (3-for-3, 4 RBI), who came up a foot short of a game-tying homer off of Roark in the first game, launched one over the leftfield wall for her second home run of the year.

    UIC tacked on two more runs in the third inning to take an 8-0 lead. Seniors Astiazaran and Sara Hernandez both singled to plate the Flames' tallies.

    The Flames would blow things open in the top of the fourth as Indiana starter Whitam re-entered the game and surrendered back-to-back-to-back home runs in a six-run frame.

    Sophomore Becky Moran started the homer parade with a pinch-hit grand slam. It was her first career home run. Cathey followed with her career-best fifth homer and then Astiazaran hit her second dinger of the day to cap the rally.

    Indiana put three runs on the board in its final two at-bats for the final 14-3 margin.

    The Flames will be back in action on Saturday, April 2nd, when they open their 2005 home schedule and begin defense of their Horizon League crown by hosting Youngstown State in a three-game series. First pitch of Saturday's doubleheader is set for 1:00 p.m.