Flames Hand Valparaiso First Conference Loss
April 21, 2012
CHICAGO - Junior Courtney Heeleyhit a grand slam in the bottom of the sixth inning Saturday to assist the Flames to a 5-3 victory over Valparaiso, giving the Crusaders their first conference loss, Saturday at Flames Field in Chicago, Ill. UIC was outlasted during the first game, falling in a 7-3 outcome in the eighth inning.
"It was a great to win the second game against a good team," head coach Michelle Venturellasaid. "Every game is so important, so we need to minimize the opportunities we give other teams, and create opportunities for ourselves. We are truly taking it one game at a time, and need to play solid ball from this point forward."
The day was a special one as it honored senior right fielder, Melinda Macias'mother. "Lori Macias Day" served as a day to celebrate Lori's life, as it has now been two years ago that she passed away. The game featured facts about organ donation, as well as tidbits about Lori. Macias' (Melinda) uncle, and Lori's brother, began the day throwing out the first pitch.
Ashley Hewettstarted for the Flames inside the circle, where in just over seven innings of work, the senior logged six strikeouts in 31 at-bats.
Both teams scored during the first frame of play as sophomore Natalie Hernandez singled up the middle, before advancing to second on a wild pitch. Junior Coryn Schmitthen doubled to right field to score Hernandez.
There were no runs scored for three innings, before UIC, in the bottom of the fifth inning, logged one run. Senior Melinda Macias singled to center field to score junior Melissa Preish, and give UIC a 2-1 lead.
The Crusaders then answered with two runs in the top of the sixth inning, but UIC tied the score at 3-3 during the bottom half of the inning. Schmit led off and reached on a hit by pitch, and was eventually knocked in by junior Kara Komp, who singled to center field.
With the score tied at 3-3, the game went to the eighth inning, where Valparaiso scored four runs to jump out to a 7-3 victory.
The team had eight hits in the game, while Komp and Preish had two apiece to pace the Flames.
The game remained scoreless until the fourth inning when Valparaiso scored one run, before scoring two more in the top of the fifth inning, the squad's final runs of the contest.
UIC answered in the bottom of the sixth inning, scoring five runs, including a grand slam by Heeley. The junior cleared the bases and scored freshman Erica Hampton, Preish, and Komp. Heeley was one of three Flames members who had two hits in the contest.
Macias was two for four on the day, while Preish went two for three. The team as a whole tallied eight hits.
UIC closes out the three-game series Sunday with a 1:00 p.m. (CT) first pitch at Flames Field in Chicago, Ill.