Softball Powers Past Top-Seeded Loyola In Extra Innings, 6-2
May 12, 2011
CHICAGO - Coryn Schmit's two out RBI single would prove to be the difference maker as the UIC softball team bested top-seeded Loyola, 6-2 in eight innings at the Horizon League Tournament on Thursday afternoon.
"Our team did a great job of playing pitch-to-pitch," said head coach Michelle Venturella. "They are showing such great focus right now and we are in a great spot so I'm very pleased with the performance today."
The Ramblers (26-25) would get on the board first as Jacqueline Grim made contact for a single out to left field, and was subsequently driven home with a home run from Lauren Moore to give the hosts a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second.
UIC would respond in the top of the third with patience at the plate as the league's newcomer of the year Brittany Gardner would walk Melinda Macias, who moved over to second after Carly DeMarco laid down a bunt right in front of the pitchers circle. Schmit would load things up with a walk, setting the table for Natalie Hernandez.
After a lengthy full-count battle against Gardner that saw Hernandez foul off a plentitude of pitches, Hernandez watched ball four come and go to bring in Macias for a 2-1 Loyola lead.
Ashely Hewett would try to level things at two, but her outfield flyout to center was not deep enough and kept DeMarco on at third.
Jenna Marsalli would respond with an RBI walk of her own, leveling the score a 2-2.
Devin Miller was once again solid in the circle for the Flames, surrendering only a pair of hits and walked two batters after the second inning. The sophomore would eventually tally 10 strikeouts in the outing, including three straight batters in the sixth with Ramblers at second and third.
With missed opportunities in the games later stages, UIC opened the eighth with two outs and Christie Seddon at first after reaching on a fielder's choice.
Macais would reach on a walk, and the bases were loaded after an infield error allowed DeMarco to reach first unabated and load up the bases once again.
Schmit, who had opened up the offense for the Flames in their win over CSU on Wednesday, stepped up and delivered with a single out to right that allowed Seddon to score the go-ahead run for a 3-2 lead.
Things weren't through as Hernandez, Wednesday's two-homer hero, knocked a shot out to deep right center driving in Macias, DeMarco and Schmit for a four-run Flames lead.
Down to a pair of outs in the bottom of the eighth, Brooke Andresen would get Loyola's fifth hit of the day with a bunt single for the Ramblers first baserunner since the sixth inning. But Miller would clamp down on the final batter of the day, getting Lauren Arceneaux going down swinging to advance UIC to the semifinals for the first time since the 2009 season.
UIC will face the winner of the contest between Butler and Valparaiso at 1:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon.