April 12, 2014
YSU 3, UIC 2
YSU 4, UIC 2
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – After combining for 19 hits, the UIC softball team (10-17, 4-3 HL) was unable to come out on the winning side of its doubleheader against Youngstown State (20-17, 5-4 HL) on Saturday at the YSU Softball Complex, falling 3-2 in game one and 4-2 in its second game. Junior Paige Peterson collected five hits on the day, while sophomore Alex Wyss and seniors Natalie Hernandez and Jacki Fletcher each had three hits to contribute to the Flames’ total.
“The difference today was that Youngstown had the timely hitting,” said head coach Michelle Venturella. “We put the ball in play both games but fell short in scoring runs.”
Game One: YSU 3, UIC 2
The Flames and Penguins each put up seven hits in the first contest and collected two runs before the final tally was recorded in the bottom of the seventh by Youngstown State to take the 3-2 win. Peterson went 3-for-4 at the plate and brought in one run, while Wyss posted her fourth-straight multi-hit game and sophomore Laura Swan hit her first home run of the season.
Youngstown State scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the first, but the Flames would answer when they entered into the third. Freshman Savannah Soppet pinch ran for freshman Kelly Kennedy, who received a free base to begin the inning, and was advanced to second on a sac bunt by senior Natalie Hernandez. Soppet then scored following a double by Peterson down the right-field line.
Swan led off in the top of the fourth with her first homer this season to left field to put UIC up 2-1. Wyss followed up Swan with a single, for her sixth-consecutive game with a hit, and then stole second but was left on at the end of the inning.
The Penguins tied it in the bottom of the fifth and would go on to win the game off a sac fly in the bottom of the seventh.
Sophomore Alice Fitzpatrick was strong in her seventh start of the season, as she pitched the complete game with a single-game high six strikeouts.
Game Two: YSU 4, UIC 2
UIC outhit Youngstown State, 12-8, but could not hold off the Penguins in the final innings after they scored in the fifth and sixth. Hernandez went 3-for-4 with one RBI and two runs, as Peterson and Fletcher each had a pair.
The Flames kicked off the first inning with back-to-back singles by Hernandez and Peterson, but Hernandez was out at home on a fielder’s choice and Peterson was left on, along with senior Jenna Marsalli, to end the inning.
Hernandez led off in the third with her eighth double of the season and advanced to third on Peterson’s second single of the game before scoring the first run on a sac fly by Fletcher.
After going three-up, three-down in the first and second, the Penguins came into the bottom of the third to score two after a walk and three singles.
Hernandez stepped to the plate in the fifth and blasted her seventh home run of the season over the fence in left center to tie the game, but Youngstown State headed into the bottom of the inning and scored a runner to reclaim the lead. The Penguins then added another in the bottom of the sixth after a single, a walk and a double.
UIC attempted a comeback in the top of the seventh with two outs and back-to-back singles by Fletcher and Marsalli, but they were left on to end the game.
Sophomore Bridget Boyle pitched all six innings in the circle and tabbed six strikeouts for a single-game high in her 13th start of the season.
The Flames return to the YSU Softball Complex on Sunday to close out the series with Youngstown State in a single game at 11 a.m. CT.