Softball Drops Extra-Inning Affair At Wisconsin, 8-7

Junior Nicole Shepard was 2-for-5 with two RBI at Wisconsin on Wednesday.
Junior Nicole Shepard was 2-for-5 with two RBI at Wisconsin on Wednesday.

May 4, 2005

Box Score

Madison, Wis. - Wisconsin senior Natalie Phillips' game-winning, RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning pushed the Badgers past the UIC softball team 8-7 in a wild marathon affair at the Goodman Softball Complex on Wednesday evening.

UIC drops to 35-24 on the year with the loss while Wisconsin posts its 13th win in its last 15 outings to move to 28-21 this season.

With one out in the ninth, Phillips singled through the left side to score Anastasia Miller, who had been placed on second to start the bottom of the ninth under international tiebreaker rules.

The unearned run was surrendered by freshman pitcher Mercedes Lovato, who was tagged with the tough-luck loss despite allowing just two unearned tallies in 3 2/3 innings of relief. She is now 16-10 this season.

Wisconsin starter Eden Brock picked up the win to move to 18-8 on the year. She allowed 11 hits and seven runs while fanning 10 in 8 2/3 innings.

UIC needed a furious rally just to send the game to extra frames. Trailing by three with one out in the seventh, UIC came back to even the score, 6-6. Four straight singles by the Flames with the last an RBI knock by freshman Lauren Brennan started the scoring. After reliever Katie Layne fanned rookie Becky Moran with the bases juiced, she hit sophomore Elizabeth Jacoby with a pitch and then walked freshman Nikki Rogers to plate the tying run.

The Flames pushed ahead in the eighth on a two-out double by Sara Hernandez (2-for-5), which scored junior Joyce Cathey, who was placed on second to start the inning under the international tie-breaker rule.



Wisconsin evened the game, once again, in the bottom half of the eighth on an RBI single by senior Boo Gillette.

The Flames took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning. Junior Joyce Cathey (2-for-4) singled, stole second and later scored on a single off the bat of junior Michelle Miller (2-for-4).

The Badgers quickly evened the score in the bottom of the frame on an RBI fielder's choice by Boo Gillette. Wisconsin threatened to do further damage in the frame, loading the bases with just one out. McIntyre was able to pitch her way out of the jam, inducing a ground ball to force the lead runner out at the plate and then fanning Ricci Robben to end the inning.

Vasquez would help the Badgers take a 2-1 advantage in the fourth inning, tripling to right field with one out and then scampering home on a wild pitch.

Wisconsin's lead was short-lived as junior Nicole Shepard put UIC back in front 3-2 in the top of the fifth with a two-out, two-run double. Cathey and senior Cameron Astiazaran, who had both singled to start the rally, scored the tying and go-ahead run.

Flames starter Brittany McIntyre pitched 4 2/3 strong innings, before running into trouble with two outs in the fifth. With UIC leading 3-2, the junior surrendered four runs on four hits, capped by a bases-clearing double by Athena Vasquez (2-for-4), which have the Badgers the lead.

The Flames played without regulars Nicole Robinson and Brittany Dixon. Neither player traveled with the team due to finals. Sophomore Becky Moran made her first career start for UIC, playing right field.

UIC will be back in action tomorrow evening when Valparaiso visits Flames Field for a single game at 6:00 p.m.