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    March 15, 2012

    CHICAGO – The UIC softball team (9-9/0-0 Horizon) competes in its final road tournament Friday through Sunday at the Hoosier Classic in Bloomington, Ind. The Flames kick off the tournament against North Dakota at 9:00 a.m. (CT) Friday.

    Among the field, host team, Indiana, North Dakota, Central Michigan, Michigan State and fellow Horizon League team, Wright State.


    Head coach, Michelle Venturella, returns to her alma mater, where she was a 1996 graduate, and served as a catcher for the Hoosiers … during her tenure, she earned All-American honors and was named the Big Ten Player of the Year.


    Venturella welcomes a new coaching staff ... hitting coach, Sami Baugh, who served as the top assistant coach at Central Michigan for the past four years. Prior to her coaching stint, Baugh was a four-time letterwinning catcher and three-time Academic all-Big Ten selection at Iowa ... pitching coach, Eileen Canney, a two-time All-American and former Northwestern pitcher joins the Flames with a wealth of playing experience at the collegiate, national and international level. Canney served as a coach during the 2011 Under Armour All-American high school game ... volunteer assistant, Heather Han, joins the staff after playing and coaching at Eastern Michigan.


    A 2012 Horizon League Tournament championship gave the Flames their first NCAA berth since 2004. UIC concluded the 2011 season with the top fielding percentage in the league, .968 percent. Junior Coryn Schmit (Hawthorn Woods, Ill./Lake Zurich) tied for third place in homeruns with 10, while junior Devin Miller (Chicago, Ill./Loyola Academy) blanked 227 batters to finish third in strikeouts.




    UIC returns to the field after posting a 2-2 record at the UCF & Holiday Inn Tournament (March 2-4) in Orlando, Fla. … The team defeated Penn (4-3) and Stetson (5-2) in come-back fashion on the first day of play, before dropping to Jacksonville (6-0) and UCF, 7-0 on the second day of competition.


    Schmit was a postseason first-team all-Horizon League honoree as she had a league-best slugging percentage of .800, while also leading the Flames in homeruns with six. The first baseman logged 16 RBI in 20 League contests, and concluded the season with a .315 batting average. Natalie Hernandez (Glendora, Calif./Glendora) garnered 2011 postseason all-second and all-newcomer Horizon League honors after the shortstop posted a .349 batting average, while committing only four errors on the season. She added nine RBI, three homeruns and a triple during her rookie season.