Oct. 7, 2013
CHICAGO – The UIC softball team brought its fall season to a close on Sunday after facing Northern Illinois in a doubleheader at Flames Field. The Flames took a 7-1 win over the Huskies before coming back in the second game to take an 11-1 victory in the fifth inning.
“I thought we saw a lot of good things from our team yesterday,” head coach Michelle Venturella said. “We did a good job on the bases, and did a good job in game two of hitting the ball hard and having quality at-bats. Both pitchers managed NIU hitters and the team played well behind them. I was especially pleased with Bridget (Boyle) on the mound, as I thought she did a great job of throwing her game.”
UIC collected 12 hits in each of the two games. Leading the way in the first game was senior Natalie Hernandez and sophomore Laura Swan, who had three hits apiece, while freshman Kelly Kennedy garnered three hits in the second game.
The Flames were productive from behind the plate right off the bat in game one with three hits in the first inning. With two on in the second, Hernandez hit a double to score one, with sophomore Alex Wyss collecting an RBI at her at-bat and Swan hitting the ball to right to score the last run of the inning.
After scoring another run in the fourth, UIC went on to collect the remainder of its runs in the sixth, as Hernandez started the inning with a single to right, followed by a stolen base. With the bases loaded, Hernandez scored off a passed ball, before senior Courtney Heeley brought in a run off a single and freshman Kaleigh Nagle scored off another passed ball.
With freshman pitcher Elaine Heflin on the mound, the Huskies scored just one run in the second inning. Helfin tallied three strikeouts in the game and allowed just one hit after the second inning to improve her fall record to 3-1.
Into the second game, the Flames scored one run in the first inning off a double by Nagle. With two outs in the second, Kennedy and Heeley hit a pair of singles before Hernandez stepped to the plate and powered the ball over the left-field wall, with the Flames scoring one more in the inning off a double by senior Jenna Marsalli.
After starting off the third with a walk, a stolen base and a bunt by Kennedy, Heeley brought in a run off her single to left, and Hernandez had her fifth hit of the day to score the seventh run. UIC was then able to score four more in the fifth after freshman Rachel May hit a double to drive in three runs and Marsalli hit another double to bring in May.
Sophomore pitcher Bridget Boyle was strong on the mound and held Northern Illinois to one run in the third. Boyle collected one strikeout and ended the fall season with a perfect 4-0 record.
“Natalie (Hernandez) hit the ball well in both games and I was pleased with Rachel (May) when she came in the first game and was solid defensively, as well as when she pinch hit in game two and had a three-run double,” added Venturella. “I feel like we are getting better each day and that is what we need to continue to do to be prepared for the spring.”