Flames Oust Wright State in Home-Opening Doubleheader

Senior Natalie Hernandez recorded her third career two-home run game on Saturday.
Senior Natalie Hernandez recorded her third career two-home run game on Saturday.

April 5, 2014

UIC 3, WSU 2 Get Acrobat Reader

UIC 12, WSU 3 (5) Get Acrobat Reader

CHICAGO – The UIC softball team (8-14, 3-1 HL) swept its doubleheader against Wright State (7-22, 3-3 HL) on Saturday with a 3-2 win in game one and a 12-3 (5) victory in its second game at Flames Field. Senior Courtney Heeley knocked in the game-winning run in the Flames’ first game, while senior Natalie Hernandez hit her second home run of game two with a walk-off two-run shot in the bottom of the fifth.

Hernandez went 4-for-6 (.667) with two home runs and eight RBI to guide UIC, as senior Jacki Fletcher went 3-for-4 (.750) at the plate alongside sophomore Alex Wyss (3-for-6; .500) and Heeley (2-for-4; .500). Sophomore Bridget Boyle picked up her fourth win of the season after allowing just one hit in game one and freshman Elaine Heflin registered her third victory after striking out five in five frames in game two.

Game One: UIC 3, WSU 2

The Flames worked back from a 2-0 deficit in its first game against the Raiders but produced eight hits and scored three runs to secure the win. Hernandez, senior Jenna Marsalli and Wyss all tallied a pair of hits, as Heeley drove in the final two runs.

Wright State’s Libby Pfeffer hit a two-run shot over the left field wall in the first inning, but would be Wright State’s only hit of the game.

UIC went scoreless through four innings before a pair of walks put Marsalli at the plate in the bottom of the fifth and she singled to center allowing one to score.

The Flames would collect their game-tying and -winning runs in the bottom of the sixth after sophomore Laura Swan singled, junior Erica Hampton hit a sac bunt to advance the runner and Wyss reached on a fielder’s choice to put runners at the corners for Heeley, who doubled to left center and brought in both runners.

Boyle went all seven innings in the circle for UIC and allowed just one hit while she struck out four batters to earn her fourth win of the season.

Game Two: UIC 12, WSU 3 (5)

The Flames picked up their second come-from-behind victory of the day after Wright State scored three in the first inning. UIC would then produce a total of 10 runs through the second and third innings before Hernandez hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth to end the game.

With bases loaded in the bottom of the second after a fielder’s choice by Wyss and singles by Heeley and junior Eleni Polites, Hernandez reached on a Raiders’ error to allow two runs to score. Polites then scored on a passed ball before Fletcher doubled to score Hernandez.

In the bottom of the third, Swan led off with a walk and Hampton and Wyss singled to load the bases with no outs. Heeley walked to bring in a run before Hernandez stepped to the plate and belted a grand slam to left center. Junior Paige Peterson would follow it up with her first home run of the season to score the final run of the inning.

The game came to a close in the bottom of the fifth after sophomore Dana Capocci singled and Hernandez hit her second homer of the game to run-rule Wright State.

Heflin received her seventh start of the season and went all five innings while striking out five batters and allowing three hits to pick up her third victory.

UIC will return to Flames Field on Sunday to close out its series with Wright State with a single game at noon CT. The Flames will also hold Lori Macias Day alongside the FLAMEingo Drive to support breast cancer awareness.