April 13, 2013
VALPARAISO, Ind. - With the bases loaded in the top of the sixth inning, junior Natalie Hernandez singled to drive in two runs to lead the UIC softball team to a 7-4 win over Valparaiso Saturday at the VU Softball Field.
Senior Coryn Schmit recorded three hits, including a homerun in the third, and three RBIs to lead the Flames.
Senior Devin Miller collected nine strikeouts while holding the Crusaders to five hits to improve to 14-12 this season, as UIC faced Taylor Weissenhofer and came away with eight hits from Schmit (3), Melissa Preish (2), Hernandez (1), Jacki Fletcher (1) and Laura Swan (1). Amanda Bolton relieved Weissenhofer in the middle of the sixth and faced just five batters to end the game.
Valparaiso put the first run on the board in the first after Joylyn Ichiyama doubled to center field to bring in Kaitlyn Ranieri.
With two outs in the top of the third, Hernandez reached first on a throwing error by the Crusaders, before Preish stepped up to the plate and hit a double to center field to bring in Hernandez for the Flames first run. With Preish on second, Schmit blasted a two-run homerun to right field to take a 3-1 lead over Valparaiso.
After UIC left three runners stranded in the top of the fifth, Valparaiso came back in the bottom of the inning to reclaim a 4-3 lead with a three-run homerun to right center from Ichiyama.
The Flames came up big following two walks in the top of the sixth, as senior Kara Komp reached on a fielding error to advance the runners and load the bases before Hernandez singled to score two. Komp scored on a throwing error after Preish lined out to Angie Doerffler and Hernandez was brought in off of a double from Schmit to give UIC its final run of the game and go up 7-4 on the Crusaders.
The Flames return to the VU Softball Field Sunday to complete the series with a doubleheader beginning at Noon (CT).