Indiana Spoils Softball Home Opener With Doubleheader Sweep
March 31, 2004
Chicago, Ill. - The UIC softball team took an early lead in both of its games versus Indiana on Wednesday, but came away empty-handed in each contest, dropping a pair of decisions to the visiting Hoosiers in the home opener at Flames Field.
Indiana (21-16) rallied back to take the opener, 4-2, in 10 innings, and then overcame an early one-run deficit to earn the victory in the nightcap, 8-4. The Flames (11-18) have now dropped four straight games.
Junior Cameron Astiazaran tied the UIC single-game record for hits in game two of the doubleheader with four, going 4-for-4 with two RBI.
Game one proved to be a heart breaker for the Flames as senior pitcher Alison Aguilar took a no-hitter into the seventh only to see UIC eventually fall 4-2 in 10 innings.
Aguilar (6-6), who went the distance and gave up just five hits, surrendered two runs on two hits in the seventh, which tied the game, then allowed two more in the 10th as the Hoosiers rallied for the victory.
Indiana starter Mariangee Bogado picked up the win, scattering four hits and striking out a season-high 12 batters while allowing just two earned runs in 10 innings of work. She improved to 12-7 with the win.
The Flames plated an all-important insurance run in the bottom of the sixth inning when senior Amanda Rivera delivered a two-out, RBI double to centerfield.
That run proved essential as Indiana's Abby Stark took Aguilar's first offering in the top of the seventh inning over the left field wall for her first home run of the season, cutting UIC's lead to 2-1.
The Hoosiers eventually tied the game later in the frame on a two-out bloop single into centerfield by Kim Richards (2-for-5).
The game remained tied until the top of the 10th when with two outs and runners on second and third designated hitter Lauren Hines (2-for-3) chopped the ball past the pitcher behind second base. UIC sophomore Meghan Gallagher fielded the ball and fired to first, but Hines just beat the throw. Richards scored easily from third and Karly McCormack never stopped running from second and scored as well on the play.
The Flames could not mount a rally in the bottom half of the frame as Bogado retired the side in order.
In game two, UIC jumped ahead early, again, with a run in the bottom of the first inning. Junior Cameron Astiazaran, who went 4-for-4 in the nightcap, led off the frame with a double, then later scored on a wild pitch.
Indiana would come back in the third with a pair of runs on a rare inside-the-park home run by Kim Richards.
With two outs and a runner on first, Richards lined a shot to right field that skipped past a diving Nicole Shepard and rolled into the corner. The Hoosier shortstop never stopped running and used a nifty headfirst slide to beat the tag put down by catcher Elizabeth Jacoby.
Indiana added to its lead in the fifth with two more runs for a 4-1 advantage.
UIC chipped into the Hoosiers lead in the bottom of the fifth with a run of its own. Sophomore Joyce Cathey got things going with a one-out triple. Astiazaran followed with an RBI single through the left side to cut Indiana's advantage to 4-2.
The Hoosiers got that run back in the top of the sixth, though, then added three more in the seventh for an 8-2 lead.
The Flames tried to rally back in the bottom of the seventh as an RBI triple by Cathey and an RBI single by Astiazaran cut the lead to 8-4, but that is as close as UIC would get.
Megan Roark picked up the win for Indiana to move to 6-6 on the year. She went the distance, surrendering four runs on seven hits.
Rookie Chelsey Barclay was tagged with loss and is now 2-4 this season. She allowed eight runs, seven earned, on 11 hits while striking out six.
The Flames will be back in action on Thursday when they host Bradley in a doubleheader at Flames Field. First pitch is set for 4:00 p.m.