May 8, 2014
UIC 3, Youngstown State 2 (8)
DAYTON, Ohio – The UIC softball team picked up a 3-2 win in eight innings on Thursday against Youngstown State to move on and face Wright State this evening in the Horizon League Championship at the WSU Softball Field. Natalie Hernandez went a perfect 5-for-5 at the plate with the game-tying home run, while Laura Swan recorded a two-run single in the top of the eighth to secure the win.
Hernandez’s five hits marked the most in a single game for the senior. Swan contributed a double in addition to her two-RBI single, while Paige Peterson, Jacki Fletcher, Erica Hampton and Courtney Heeley each registered one hit.
The Flames continued to put runners on base throughout the game, but ultimately left 14 stranded, including runners in scoring position in the first five innings. It was not until the sixth frame that they got on the board with Hernandez’s solo home run to tie the game at 1-1 after the Penguins’ Samantha Snodgrass led off the fourth with a solo shot to left.
After holding off Youngstown State through seven, UIC went to extra innings. In the top of the eighth, Heeley and Hernandez hit back-to-back singles before advancing to second and third on a sac bunt by Peterson. With two outs, Swan singled to right field, allowing both runners to score and the Flames to take a 3-1 lead.
UIC headed into the bottom of the inning trying to hold off Youngstown State, but Katie Smallcomb and Snodgrass went back-to-back with singles. A fielder’s choice got a runner out at third, but a walk loaded the bases. A ground out would score one before the next batter fouled out to end the game.
Alice Fitzpatrick started the game and picked up her sixth win of the season after going 7.0 innings with four strikeouts before Bridget Boyle came in to pick up the first save of her career in the final frame.
With the win, the Flames kept their season alive and moved on to face No. 2 Wright State in a 3:50 p.m. CT contest.