Softball Wins 10-Inning Affair against Oakland

Senior Jacki Fletcher tabbed two hits and four RBI, including the game-winning run.
Senior Jacki Fletcher tabbed two hits and four RBI, including the game-winning run.

May 3, 2014

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UIC 7, Oakland 4 (10) Get Acrobat Reader

ROCHESTER, Mich. - The UIC softball team (13-25, 7-9 HL) endured a five-hour and 24 minute contest on Saturday after a two-hour rain delay and came away with a 7-4 (10) victory against Oakland (15-22, 7-9 HL) at the OU Softball Field. Jacki Fletcher proved to be the deciding factor, as she belted her first triple of the season in the top of the 10th to plate three runs. Originally scheduled to play two games, the Flames will now face the Golden Grizzlies in doubleheader action on Sunday beginning at 10 a.m. CT.

"This was a great team win today," head coach Michelle Venturellasaid. "Alice (Fitzpatrick) and Erica (Hampton) worked really well together, getting stronger as the game went on. Our defense was solid and our offense kept chipping away until we got it done. Jacki (Fletcher) has been working hard on having quality at-bats, so it was great to see her come through for the team with the bases-clearing triple."

UIC put up 13 hits, against OU's 10, in the game. Kelly Kennedy went 3-for-4, while Fletcher, Natalie Hernandez and Courtney Heeleyeach collected a pair. Fletcher had four RBI on the day, with Hernandez knocking in two.

Alice Fitzpatrickpitched all 10 innings, allowing 10 hits and four runs while striking out seven batters through 180-plus pitches.

The Flames scored a pair of runs in the second after the Golden Grizzlies produced one in the first. Jenna Marsalli led off with a single, but was out on a fielder's choice that put Alex Wyss at first. Erica Hamptonthen singled and Kennedy walked to load the bases before Hernandez singled to left center and drove in two runners.

Oakland added two in the third following two doubles and a walk to hold a 3-2 advantage through five.

In the sixth, UIC reclaimed the lead after Kennedy and Heeley tallied back-to-back singles to start the inning. Hernandez advanced the runners on a sac bunt before a run scored on a play where Peterson reached on an error. Fletcher brought in the go-head run after reaching on a fielder's choice.

The Flames then battled a two-hour rain delay before returning to the field in hopes of maintaining their lead, but OU came out to tie it in the bottom of the seventh after a lead-off walk, a fielder's choice and back-to-back singles scored a run.

The two teams went scoreless in the eighth and ninth before UIC broke out in the top of the tenth. Kennedy reached on an error before being called out at second on a fielder's choice for Heeley. Hernandez then singled through the left side and Peterson made it to first on another Oakland error. With the bases loaded, Fletcher stepped to the plate and crushed her second-career triple to left center, allowing three runs to score.

The Flames return to the OU Softball Field on Sunday to conclude the series with a doubleheader beginning at 10 a.m.