Softball's Comeback Falls Just Short In 8-7 Loss To Cleveland State|
May. 1, 2005
Chicago, Ill. - The UIC softball team's furious comeback fell just short on Sunday afternoon as the Flames dropped an 8-7 decision to Cleveland State in the rubber game of their weekend series at Flames Field.
UIC fell to 11-4 in the Horizon League and 35-23 overall with the loss. Cleveland State improved to 6-5 in league play and 17-23 overall.
The Flames trailed 8-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, but tallied three runs in the sixth and then loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh.
After Cleveland State reliever Christina Swierz got sophomore Elizabeth Jacoby to pop out, sophomore Beck Moran doubled off the left field wall to drive home a pair and cut the Vikings' advantage to 8-6. Junior Joyce Cathey (1-for-3, 2 RBI) followed with a fly out to right field. Pinch-runner Nikki Rogers tagged up from third and scored on the play, but Moran was gunned down trying to advance to third to end the game.
Starter J.J. Thornberry picked up the win in the circle for Cleveland State while also going 4-for-4 at the plate with a home run and two RBI. She allowed seven runs, five earned, on five hits before being removed after loading the bases in the seventh. Thornberry is now 5-6 on the year.
UIC starter Brittany McIntyre suffered her second straight loss to fall to 17-12. The junior right-hander allowed eight runs, just five earned, in six innings.
The Vikings took an early lead on Sunday, scoring in the first when Amber Lowe, who singled to lead off the game, scampered home on a wild pitch.
Cleveland State's advantage grew to 4-0 in the second as the Vikings turned a pair of UIC errors in the field into three runs.
Already ahead 5-0, Thornberry rocketed a solo home run in the fifth inning to give her squad a six-run cushion. It was her third homer of the season.
UIC got on the board in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI groundout by senior Sara Hernandez to make the score 6-1.
The Vikings answered right back in the top of the sixth, though, with two more runs on a solo homer by Michele Penney and an RBI single by Thornberry.
The Flames began their rally in the sixth, plating three runs on two hits. Cathey drove home the first tally with a groundout and then UIC plated two more on a Cleveland State miscue in the field. Thornberry avoided further damage by getting Hernandez to fly out with two runners on to end the inning.
The Flames will be back in action on Tuesday evening when they meet Wisconsin in Madison for a single game at 5:00 p.m.