April 11, 2014
CHICAGO – The UIC softball team (10-15, 4-1 HL) gets set to face Horizon League-foes Youngstown State (18-17, 3-4 HL) and Cleveland State (17-11, 1-1 HL) over the next three days. The Flames take on the Penguins in a doubleheader on Saturday at noon CT and a single game on Sunday at 11 a.m. at the YSU Softball Complex in Youngstown, Ohio, before competing in a doubleheader against the Vikings at 11 a.m. on Monday at Viking Field in Cleveland, Ohio.
UIC returns from a 1-1 performance against North Dakota on Tuesday (April 8), when it fell , 11-10, in its first game before coming back with a 10-2 (6) victory. In the two games, senior Jenna Marsalli went a perfect 5-for-5 (1.000) with two doubles and one homer, followed by senior Natalie Hernandez and sophomore Alex Wyss with respective batting averages of .714 and .500. Sophomore Alice Fitzpatrick picked up her second win of the season, while sophomore Bridget Boyle received the loss.
Senior Jacki Fletcher continues to lead UIC this season with a .458 batting average (33-for-72), while Hernandez has improved to .446 over the last six games and junior Paige Peterson (.391), Wyss (.364) and Marsalli (.357) are all hitting above .300. Hernandez boasts the most hits with 37 and additionally owns the most runs (26), home runs (6) and RBI (26).
Pitching for the Flames, Boyle holds a 5.00 ERA through 71.1 innings as she is 5-5 through 12 starts with 31 strikeouts. Fitzpatrick has improved her ERA to 5.30 in 38.1 innings pitched, while freshman Elaine Heflin (5.56 ERA) has three wins and the most strikeouts at 46 in 45.1 innings on the mound.
Youngstown State is coming off of a 1-2 series loss to Green Bay and 1-1 splits against Akron and Saint Francis after going 1-1 against Valparaiso and Cleveland State. The Flames lead in the all-time series and took a 2-1 series win in last season’s meeting.
Miranda Castiglione heads the Penguins offense with a .381 average (43-for-113), 31 runs, seven doubles, six home runs and a .619 slugging percentage. Fellow starters Courtney Ewing (.312), Sarah Dowd (.291) and Sarah Ingalls (.280) also have 30 or more hits, with Ingalls collecting the most RBI with 23.
Casey Crozier is 11-5 in the circle for Youngstown State with a 2.36 ERA in 109.2 innings and 122 strikeouts, limiting batters to a .237 average. Kayla Haslett (3.67 ERA) and Caitlyn Minney have additionally spent time on the mound, going 5-5 and 2-6, respectively, while each registering 34 strikeouts.
Cleveland State has won seven of its last eight games with wins against Toledo, Youngstown State, Niagara and Saint Francis, and will face Valparaiso in a three-game series prior to hosting UIC on Monday. The Flames are ahead 43-18 in the all-time series and went 2-1 against the Vikings last year.
Katelind Phillips is hitting .400 on the season for Cleveland State with 28 hits and 11 RBI, followed by Cynthia Woodard (.333) with 29 hits, seven doubles, five homers, 19 RBI and a .586 slugging percentage to lead the team.
Susan Knight has received the start for the Vikings in 16 games and is 7-9 on the season with a 2.76 ERA through 96.1 innings with 63 strikeouts. Alex Radjen (2.19 ERA) and Sara Shields (2.83) have each started six games and hold 5-1 records, while Shields owns the best batting-average against at .215.