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    March 27, 2012

    CHICAGO – The UIC softball team (14-14/2-1 Horizon League) heads north of Chicago to face Northwestern at 4:00 p.m. (CT) Wednesday at the Sharon J. Drysdale Field in Evanston, Ill.

    LEAD-OFF HITS

    SCOUTING THE FLAMES

    UIC enters the weekend with a 14-14 record … Melissa Preish continues to lead the team offensively with a .405 batting average, including five doubles, one triple and a three homeruns … Ashley Hewett and Devil Miller are the leaders defensively, being the two pitchers for the Flames … Hewett has a 3.86 ERA with a 5-5 record … Miller carries a 4.21 ERA with an 8-9 record and has thrown 88 strikeouts this season … Coryn Schmit leads the team with 22 RBI and six homeruns.

    SCOUTING THE WILDCATS

    Northwestern has an 11-17 record, including 3-0 in the Big Ten … Marisa Bast leads the team with a .434 batting average, while posting 30 RBI and seven homeruns, leading the Wildcats in both categories … Northwestern has thrown four pitchers this season, Sammy Albanese (1-3/2.65 ERA) … Meghan Lamberth (5-7/3.41 ERA) … Jenny Tyler (0-0/3.82 ERA) … Amy Letourneau (5-7/6.17 ERA) … Emily Allard has stolen 17 bases on 20 attempts.

    LAST MEETING WITH NORTHWESTERN

    UIC faced Northwestern during the 2011 fall season … the teams split decisions as the Flames won the first game, 4-3, before dropping 2-1 in the second contest … Hewett had nine strikeouts in the first game … UIC last faced Northwestern during the regular season on April 28, 2010, and the Wildcats won 6-1.

    CANNEY COMIN’ HOME

    UIC pitching coach, Eileen Canney, returns to her alma mater, where she was a member of the Northwestern softball team from 2003-07. During her rookie year (2004) she was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year, in addition to being an all-Big Ten and NFCA all-Mideast Region selection each season (2004-07). During the 2006 season Canney assisted her team to a second-place finish at the Women's College World Series, which propelled her to be named to the all-tournament team, in addition to earning her first All-American honor and Big Ten Pitcher of the Year award. Canney again returned the Wildcats to the Women's College World Series during her senior campaign (2007), where Northwestern placed third. The standout pitcher earned her second All-American and Big Ten Pitcher of the Year accolades, in addition to being named to the USA Softball Player of the Year Watch List. After her tenure with the Wildcats, Canney played for the New England Riptide, a national professional fast pitch team, during the 2007-08 seasons. She was a two-time all-National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) selection, while also leading the league in strikeouts and ERA.


     

     

    FRESH FACES

    Head coach, Michelle 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, 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.

    HORIZON LEAGUE PRESEASON PICK

    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. Schmit tied for third place in homeruns with 10, while Miller blanked 227 batters to finish third in strikeouts.

    LAST TIME OUT

    UIC opened Horizon League play against Cleveland State on March 24, with a double header … the Flames dropped in the first game, 3-1, before picking up an 8-1 win in the second game … the third game of the series was played March 25, where UIC battled the Vikings through ten innings … Courtney Heeley had a two-run hit to center field to lead the Flames to a 6-5 victory.

    2011 HORIZON LEAGUE HONORS - SCHMIT & HERNANDEZ

    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. Hernandez 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.

    Follow UICSoftball on Twitter, Facebook and live stats through the link, which can be accessed through the softball schedule.

    --UIC—