Softball Holds Off Seventh-Inning Rally In 4-3 Victory Over Valparaiso
April 18, 2010
CHICAGO - A seemingly innocuous insurance run in the sixth would be the difference in the UIC softball team's 4-3 win over Valparaiso amidst a furious seventh-inning rally to close out the series on Sunday afternoon.
After being limited to a lone hit in the nightcap of Saturday's doubleheader, the Flames (11-29, 4-6 Horizon) lit-up starting pitcher Alex Lagesse as Melinda Macias opened the game with a right field double, and was followed by a single from Brooke Frydendall.
Starting pitcher Ashley Hewett would drive her first home run in league play right along the edge of the left field line with Macias and Frydendall on base for a 3-0 Flames' lead.
The Crusaders (27-12, 7-3 Horizon) would be limited by Hewett as she would fan a trio looking in the first two innings. Valpo got on the board in the third as Sara Strickland would reach on a one-out walk, steal second and make it to third on an outfield error, and then was driven in by Jordan Rutkowski on a sacrifice flyout to left field to cut UIC's lead to two.
After scoring chances in the fifth were thwarted, pinch hitter Kelsey Sturgeon would open the sixth inning with a very patient walk. With Christie Seddon on the basepath for Sturgeon, back-to-back infield putouts would move Seddon all the way to third.
Frydendall, who had a single and reached on a fielder's choice earlier in the contest, looped a two-out single over Joylyn Ichiyama's reach at second to allow Seddon to score to extend the Flames' lead back to three for a 4-1 lead.
Valparaiso would not leave Flames Field quietly, opening the seventh with back-to-back singles and a walk to load the bases.
Devin Miller would come in as relief and quickly struck out a pair to leave the Crusaders down to their final out. Valpo's Rutkowski would drive in a pair off a single out to right center field to cut the Flames' lead to one run.
Centerfielder Carly DeMarco's throw back to the infield would halt the progress of base runner Tori Brown, leaving her at second. The subsequent play would go to third basemen Coryn Schmit, who tagged out Brown to close out the contest in UIC's favor.
The Flames remain at home this week, hosting Green Bay in a doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, April 21.