Softball Heads to Oakland for Final Season Series

Senior Natalie Hernandez
Senior Natalie Hernandez

May 2, 2014

Horizon League Network

The UIC softball team (12-25, 6-9 HL) will make its way to Rochester, Mich., for its final series of the regular season this weekend against Oakland (15-19, 4-5 HL). Action is set to get underway with a doubleheader at 11 a.m. CT on Saturday and conclude with the finale at 11 a.m. on Sunday. All games will be streamed live on the Horizon League Network.

The Flames are coming off of a 12-4 non-conference loss to Northern Illinois this past Tuesday (April 29). Laura Swan went a perfect 3-for-3 with one home run, while Natalie Hernandez also homered and tallied her 18th multi-hit game of the season.

Among those who have played 30 or more games, Hernandez owns the best batting average with .405 followed by Jacki Fletcher (.395) and Jenna Marsalli (.324). Hernandez additionally boasts 32 runs, 51 hits, 10 doubles, nine home runs, a .714 slugging percentage and 34 RBI to place in the top 10 in every category in the Horizon League.

Alice Fitzpatrick has started 13 games for UIC and holds a 4.25 ERA through 89.0 innings with the most strikeouts (57) on the pitching staff. Bridget Boyle has gone 94.1 innings with a 5.12 ERA through 16 starts and 24 appearances, followed by Elaine Heflin with a 5.56 ERA in 45.1 innings following seven starts.

Oakland has won three of its last five games, with wins against Cleveland State and Youngstown State, and will face Detroit in a doubleheader Friday afternoon prior to hosting UIC. The weekend series will be the first meeting between the Flames and Golden Grizzlies since OU joined the League this season, but UIC has a 2-0 all-time advantage after sweeping a doubleheader in the 2001 season.

Jacki Kisman (.380), Erika Polidori (.324) and Meghan Tangney (.301) all hold a batting average above .300 this season. Polidori leads Oakland in nearly every category with 20 runs, 35 hits, 11 doubles, five homers, a .565 slugging percentage and 21 RBI, while Kisman also has 35 hits.

Kaley Waalkes (3.09 ERA) and Erin Kownacki (3.11 ERA) have split a majority of the starts for the Golden Grizzlies, with Waalkes going 81.2 innings (13 starts/15 appearances) and Kownacki pitching through 101.1 innings (17 starts/19 appearances). Kownacki owns 87 strikeouts on the season, with Waalkes following with 37.