Softball To Take On Host Cleveland State In Opening Round Of The 2003 Horizon League Tournament
May 5, 2003
Chicago, Ill. - The third-seeded UIC softball team will open the 2003 Horizon League Tournament by taking on host #6 Cleveland State. The Flames and Vikings will meet at Viking Field on Thursday, May 8th, at 10:00 a.m. (CST).
The winner of that contest will then advance to meet the winner of #2 Youngstown State and #7 Detroit at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday. The double-elimination tournament runs through Saturday with the champion earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Regional Championships.
In other first-round action, top-seeded Loyola will meet #8 Wright State and #4 UW-Green Bay will take on #5 Butler.
UIC took two-of-three from Cleveland State in head-to-head play this year at Flames Field, April 18th and 19th. The Flames downed the Vikings, 8-3 and 3-1, while Cleveland State captured the middle game of the series, 6-3.
UIC, which has never lost a first-round league tournament game, is 26-4 all-time versus the Vikings, including a 5-1 record in postseason play. The Flames toppled the Vikings 9-2 in the second round of last year's Horizon League Tournament.
UIC enters the 2003 Horizon League Tournament having claimed the last five league tournament titles, going a perfect 17-0 during their championship run. The Flames last loss in the league tournament came in a 6-5 defeat to Northern Illinois back in the 1997 semifinals.
Over the last five years, UIC has outscored its opponents 116-16 in league tournament competition, including plating a tournament record 37 runs in four games at last year's event. The Flames haven't been all offense at the tournament, though, having twice gone an entire tournament without allowing a single run (1998, 2000).