April 6, 2014
UIC 14, WSU 6 (6)
CHICAGO - After Wright State led the majority of the game on Sunday, the UIC softball team (9-14, 4-1 HL) headed into the bottom of the sixth and scored nine runs to secure a 14-6 (6) victory over the Raiders (7-23, 3-4 HL) and sweep the weekend series at Flames Field. The Flames had six starters collect at least two hits, as sophomore Laura Swan recorded the final hit of the game that drove in the winning run.
"I am really pleased with our overall performance as a team," said head coach Michelle Venturella. "We did a good job of making the adjustments we needed, which enabled us to beat Wright State. I also want to thank our alumni for coming out and making Alumni Day a huge success. Celebrating all of them and the 20th anniversary of the 1994 Women's College World Series team was amazing."
Senior Natalie Hernandez, junior Paige Peterson and senior Jenna Marsalli all posted three hits in their four at-bats, with Hernandez and Marsalli each picking up a double, while senior Jacki Fletcher, Swan and sophomore Alex Wyss tallied two hits apiece. Fletcher (3), Marsalli (2) and Wyss (2) additionally contributed with at least two RBI alongside senior Courtney Heeley (2) and freshman Kelly Kennedy (2).
For the third-consecutive game, Wright State was the first to get on the board after scoring one in the second and adding two more in the third. UIC would contribute two in the bottom of the third after four-consecutive singles by Hernandez, Peterson, Fletcher and Marsalli and an error on the Raiders.
The Flames matched Wright State in the fourth as both teams scored a run in the top and bottom of the inning. Junior Eleni Polites reached on a fielder's choice before stealing second and advancing to third on another Raiders' error. Hernandez then hit her second single to bring in Polites.
In the bottom of the fifth, UIC went ahead after scoring two off singles by Marsalli and Swan, a sac-fly by Wyss and Wright State's third error of the game, but the Raiders would answer back with a two-run homer in the top of the sixth to take a 6-5 lead.
The Flames headed into the bottom of the sixth and powered to victory off eight hits. Hernandez led off with her seventh double of the season followed by Peterson's third single of the day. Fletcher reached on an error to score one before Marsalli hit her eighth double this season to add another. A walk for junior Erica Hampton would set up bases loaded for Wyss, who singled to left, to bring in one.
Following a pitching change for Wright State, Heeley singled and Kennedy hit her second career double, the Flames' third of the day, to put up three runs. With bases loaded after Hernandez received a free base, Fletcher singled to score two before Marsalli walked and Swan drove in the final run of the game.
Sophomore Alice Fitzpatrick received the start in the circle and went 3.0 innings while allowing three hits with just one earned run before sophomore Bridget Boyle came on as relief to start the fourth and finished the game with two hits and one strikeout to take the win.
UIC is back at Flames Field on Tuesday when its hosts North Dakota in a doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m. CT.