Softball Eliminated From NCAA Region VII Championships
May 17, 2002
Iowa City, Iowa - The UIC softball team's run at the 2002 NCAA Region VII Championships came to an end on Friday afternoon as they dropped a 3-1 decision to fourth seed and tournament host Iowa at Pearl Field.
The Flames finish the season with a record of 43-22, their 10th-straight 40-plus win season. Iowa (36-19), meanwhile, advances to meet top-seeded Nebraska tonight at 7:00 p.m.
UIC's workhorse in the circle, sophomore Alison Aguilar, who pitched both of the Flames contests yesterday, ran into trouble in the top of the first inning as Iowa put three runs on the board in the frame without the ball leaving the infield.
The Hawkeyes plated their first run on a bases-loaded groundout by Chrsitina Schmaltz, then got two more on a freak infield single by Iowa pitcher Lisa Birocci.
Aguilar appeared to be out of the inning when she got Birocci to sky one on the infield with the bases loaded. The wind played tricks with the ball, though, and it dropped between shortstop Jennifer Tiffany and second baseman Amy Gonzales, allowing two Iowa runners to score for a 3-0 Hawkeye lead.
UIC got on run back in the bottom of the second inning when senior Edel Leyden doubled in pinch-runner Kelly Chenoweth. The Flames tried to get another run on the play, but senior Amy Gonzales was thrown out at home attempting to score from first base on a strong throw by Hawkeye shortstop Kristin Johnson.
The Flames mounted another treat in the bottom of the sixth inning, putting a pair of runners on with two outs. Iowa got out of the jam, bringing in ace pitcher Kristi Hanks, who got Alycia Creese to pop out to end the inning.
Hanks then fanned UIC in order in the seventh to advance the Hawkeyes in the tournament and pick up her third save of the season. Sarah Thompson picked up for the win for Iowa, which threw its whole staff at UIC on Friday.
Aguilar, who went the distance for the third straight game, was tagged with the loss, finishing the season at 23-11 on the year.