Softball Rallies From Five Runs Down To Defeat Youngstown State, 8-7

Senior Sara Hernandez laced a game-winning, two-run double in the seventh versus Youngstown State.
Senior Sara Hernandez laced a game-winning, two-run double in the seventh versus Youngstown State.

April 3, 2005

Box Score

Chicago, Ill. - Senior Sara Hernandez capped a dramatic comeback for the UIC softball team on Sunday as her two-out double off the wall in the bottom of the seventh inning plated the tying and winning runs in the Flames' 8-7 victory over visiting Youngstown State at Flames Field.

UIC, which swept its three-game series with the Penguins, has now won 15 of its last 16 games to move to 23-16 this season and 3-0 in the Horizon League.

The Flames rallied from a five-run deficit in the final three frames on Sunday to remain undefeated in league play.

Trailing the Penguins 7-2 heading into the bottom of the fifth, UIC tallied four runs in the fifth, but still trailed by a run with two outs and nobody on in the bottom of the seventh.

Senior Cameron Astiazaran (2-for-3, 2 RBI) started the rally when she dumped a single into centerfield. Freshman Brittany Dixon (2-for-4) followed with a single through the right side of the infield to put runners on the corners for Hernandez, who was already 2-for-3 at the plate heading into her final at bat.

The Rowland Heights, Calif., native got a pitch to her liking from YSU's Ashley Lockmiller and lined it off the leftfield wall to plate Astiazaran and Dixon and cap the Flames' furious comeback.

Lockmiller, who started and lasted just 1/3 of an inning before re-entering to pitch the seventh, was tagged with the loss, falling to 4-4 this season.

Freshman Mercedes Lovato picked up her team-high 14th win in relief for UIC. She tossed 5 2/3 innings, allowing four runs, three earned, on seven hits.

After leaving 13 runners on base on Saturday, Youngstown State capitalized in its first scoring chance on Sunday, plating three runs on five hits off Flames starter Brittany McIntyre.



Sarah Berry, Sarah Conklin and McKenzie Bedra all had RBI knocks in the Penguins' rally.

UIC looked to answer back in the bottom of the frame by loading the bases with one out off starter Lockmiller. Youngstown State Head Coach Christy Cameron went right to the bullpen for Kelly Murphy, who struck out freshman Lauren Brennan and got rookie Nicole Robinson to fly out to end the inning.

The Flames did capitalize on their next scoring chance as Astiazaran drove in a pair with a double in the bottom of the second inning to cut the Penguins' lead to 3-2. It was Astiazaran's Horizon League-leading 21st two-bagger this season.

Youngstown State put two runs right back on the board in the top of the third to go back up 5-2. Bedra hit a solo home run over the scoreboard in left-centerfield and the Penguins added a second tally when an error by leftfielder Michelle Miller allowed Char Kudlock to score from second base.

Bedra put Youngstown State in front 6-2 in the fourth with a two-out, RBI double. It was her third hit and third RBI of the day.

The Penguins tacked another tally on the board in the fifth on an infield single by Berry, who also had a three-hit effort for YSU.

UIC pulled within a run in the bottom of the fifth with four runs on four hits. Robinson drove in the first with a single before Miller, who was 2-for-4 at the dish, plated a pair with a double down the right field line. The Flames' fourth tally scored on an error by YSU second baseman Kudlock.

UIC threatened to tie the game in the sixth with runners on first and second and one out, but Murphy escaped the jam without any damage done.

The Flames will be back in action on Tuesday afternoon when they travel to Peoria, Ill., for a doubleheader at Bradley with first pitch slated for 3:00 p.m.