Oct. 1, 2013
CHICAGO – The UIC softball team wrapped up its third slate of fall games Saturday, Sept. 28, at Flames Field. The Flames defeated Kirkwood Community College, 10-2, before falling to Indiana State, 4-3, in the seventh inning.
“Overall, it was good to play two different types of teams,” head coach Michelle Venturella said. “Kirkwood is more of a power-hitting team, and ISU has a lot of speed. It was good to see Bridget (Boyle) manage their bats in game one and Elaine (Heflin) did a nice job in game two, but we, as a team, need to close the door on teams when we have a late lead. We are seeing good things from our team and are looking forward to continuing to get better throughout this fall season.”
In the first game against Kirkwood, UIC was able to take a quick 6-0 lead in the first inning after scoring six runs off three hits and two Kirkwood errors. Senior Jacki Fletcher stepped to the plate with bases loaded in the first and came up with a single to left field, followed by a bases-loaded walk to freshman Kaleigh Nagle. After sophomore Dana Capocci was hit by pitch, junior Erica Hampton and senior Courtney Heeley each had a fielder’s choice, allowing two runners to score.
The Flames continued to put pressure on the Eagles and added three more runs in the fourth. Senior Natalie Hernandez led off with a double, followed by a bunt single by sophomore Alex Wyss. Hernandez scored on the squeeze play by sophomore Laura Swan, while Fletcher collected another hit with a double to score two. With an insurance run in the sixth, the Flames concluded the game with 13 hits.
Improving her fall record to 3-0, sophomore pitcher Bridget Boyle, and Hampton, controlled the Eagles by scattering their hits and not allowing the hitters to get into a rhythm. Kirkwood scored just two runs, in the third on a base hit up the middle and in the sixth on a pick attempt, while Wyss threw a line drive home to prevent a second runner from scoring in the third.
In the second game against Indiana State, the Flames were able to score runs in the third, fifth and seventh innings, with freshman Savannah Soppet driving a ball up the middle with runners at the corners in the seventh and junior Eleni Polites going 3-3 with a stolen base to ultimately lead the offense.
UIC was two outs away from the win, but ISU’s offense had enough to push past in the bottom of the seventh inning. After back-to-back singles, UIC recorded one out after a pop-up hit to pitcher Elaine Heflin, but the Sycamores used their strength and speed on offense to tie up the game. With runners at the corners, ISU put down a squeeze play to end the game.
With one day of competition remaining in their fall season, the Flames return to Flames Field Saturday to host Notre Dame and Heartland Community College at 2:15 p.m. CT and 4:30 p.m., respectively. Prior to the Flames matches, Notre Dame and Heartland CC will face off at noon.