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    Sept. 23, 2013

    CHICAGO – The UIC softball team concluded its second day of fall competition Sunday, Sept. 22, after going up against Northwestern and Eastern Illinois.  The Flames produced a strong offensive output to defeat the Wildcats, 10-1, before collecting a come-from-behind 4-3 win against the Panthers.

    UIC came out swinging in its first game of the day against Northwestern.  While freshman pitcher Elaine Heflin limited the Wildcats to just one hit, the Flames had a total of 15 throughout the game after scoring three in the second, four in the fourth, two in the fifth and one in the sixth.

    “I was pleased with how Elaine (Heflin) controlled such a powerful offense,” Venturella added.  “We talk a lot about how it starts on the mound in our game, and I think she and Erica (Hampton) did a great job working together to keep their hitters off balance.”

    Contributing to the dominant 10-1 win over Northwestern was seniors Natalie Hernandez and Courtney Heeley, sophomore Laura Swan and freshman Kaleigh Nagle, who all had a multi-hit game.

    “It was great to see our hitters constantly put pressure on their defense,” head coach Michelle Venturella said.  “We hit the ball well and had quality at-bats, which is always a goal for us offensively.”

    Into the second game, UIC was immediately down three runs after Eastern Illinois jumped out to take the lead in the first inning, but it was not before long that the Flames were able to answer back in the third inning with four runs.  Sophomore pitcher Bridget Boyle was then able to settle down after the first to blank the Panthers the rest of the game.

    Sophomore Alex Wyss had a strong game on both sides of the ball, after making a diving catch in centerfield and hitting two singles to reach base two-out-of-three times.

    “I thought Bridget (Boyle) got better as the game progressed,” said Venturella.  “She showed a lot of leadership and composure when things were not going our way.  It was a solid performance for her.”

    UIC is back in action on Saturday when it welcomes Kirkwood Community College and Indiana State to Flames Field.  The Flames face off with the Eagles at noon CT and the Sycamores at 4:30 p.m., while Kirkwood goes up against Indiana State beginning at 2:15 p.m.