Softball Homers Its Way To 9-6 Victory Over Butler In Doubleheader Finale
April 26, 2005
Chicago, Ill. - Senior Sara Hernandez and junior Joyce Cathey put on an offensive display, helping the UIC softball team overcome an early deficit to outlast Butler, 9-6, in the nightcap of an evening doubleheader at Flames Field.
Hernandez went 4-for-4 with a pair of home runs and a career-high five RBI. Cathey was a perfect 3-for-3 at the dish with a homer and two RBI.
It was Hernandez's second multi-homer game of the season while she also tied the UIC single-game hit record with her career-best four knocks. Cathey, meanwhile, notched her second homer in as many games and now has a career-high nine dingers this season.
The Flames, who took game one by an 8-1 margin, are now 10-2 in the Horizon League and in sole possession of first place ahead of UW-Green Bay (8-3). UIC is 34-21 overall.
The Bulldogs dropped to 6-10 in league play and 18-29 overall.
Freshman Lauren Brennan started in the circle for the Flames and earned the win to level her season record at 2-2. She allowed six runs, just three earned, on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings while striking out two.
Junior Brittany McIntyre shut the door on any Butler comeback hopes, tossing 2 2/3 innings of spotless relief for her career-best second save.
Bulldog starter Nikki Naffziger, who allowed eight runs with just three being earned in four innings, suffered the loss and is now 12-14 on the year.
Butler jumped all over UIC in the top of the first inning of game two, plating four runs. Maria Marchesano's RBI single and Lynn Hohs' two-run double highlighted the rally.
Hernandez got the Flames right back into the game in the bottom of the frame, though, with a two-run homer to centerfield. It was her seventh home run of the year and cut the Bulldogs' advantage to 4-2.
Cathey pulled UIC even closer in the second with a solo home run to center.
The Flames climbed all the way back to regain the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning with five runs off Naffziger. Senior Cameron Astiazaran's sacrifice fly tied the game and then a double by freshman Brittany Dixon put UIC in front, 5-4. With runners on second and third and one out, Butler elected to pitch to Hernandez, who had already homered and doubled off Naffziger. Hernandez would come through, again, for the Flames, launching a 3-2 pitch over the scoreboard in left centerfield to stake the Flames to an 8-4 lead. It was her career-best eight round-tripper of the year.
The Bulldogs scrapped back with a pair of tallies in the top of the fifth on a two-run double by Jill Meinhold. Butler then had runners on second and third and only one out, forcing the Flames to summon game one starter McIntyre from the bullpen. The junior would get the job done as she quickly induced a pair of groundouts to leave the tying runs in scoring position.
UIC added an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI double by Catheyto pull ahead by a 9-6 margin.
McIntyre retired the Bulldogs in order over the final two frames to preserve the win.
The Flames will be back in action on Saturday when they open a three-game Horizon League series at home versus Cleveland State. First pitch of Saturday's doubleheader is set for 1:00 p.m.