Softball takes series win vs. Valparaiso

Senior Kara Komp posted three hits at Valparaiso Sunday. Photo: Steve Woltmann

The softball team beat Valparaiso, 10-0, to begin a twin bill Sunday before falling, 3-1, in the series finale at VU Softball Field in Valparaiso, Ind.

UIC claimed the series, 2-1, over the Crusaders after winning Saturday’s game, 6-1.

“I am really happy with how our team is playing,” head coach Michelle Venturella said.

“Devin [Miller] has been really sharp on the mound and the offense has been hitting the ball well. We had several different kids come through at different times, which is a good sign. We hit the ball well in the last game, but it was right at fielders. Overall, it was a good weekend.”

UIC out-hit Valparaiso, 13-3, in the victory. Junior Natalie Hernandez and senior Kara Komp posted three hits each, and juniors Jenna Marsalli and Jacki Fletcher earned two.

Senior Devin Miller pitched five innings, compiling six strikeouts and allowing only three hits.

UIC put two runs on the board in the top of the third inning after Komp led off with a single. Senior Melissa Preish walked and senior Coryn Schmit was intentionally walked. Junior Jenna Marsalli doubled to left-center to score Komp and Preish.

Junior Natalie Hernandez led off the top of the fourth inning with a triple and advanced home on a throwing error by Valparaiso. Komp singled to center field, before Schmit was intentionally walked.

With runners on first and second, Marsalli singled to right field to score Komp. Junior Jacki Fletcher posted the final two runs of the fourth frame with a single to score Schmit and Marsalli.

With four more runs in the top of the fifth, UIC retired the Crusaders.

The scoring spree began with a single by Hernandez, who stole second. Preish doubled down the right-field line to score Hernandez, then Schmit singled to send Preish home. Senior Cyndi Becker pinch ran for Schmit. Freshman Laura Swan walked. Fletcher singled to third base to move Becker and Swan and load the bases. Sophomore Erica Hampton singled to left field to score Becker, and junior Courtney Heeley pushed in an RBI off a walk.

The Flames held Valparaiso off in the bottom of the fifth to secure the game, 10-0.

In the second game of the day, Miller blanked six batters in six innings. Komp led UIC with two hits and Heeley posted UIC’s sole RBI of the contest.

Valparaiso put two runs on the board in the bottom of the first and one in the bottom of the second to jump out to a 3-0 lead.

UIC takes a break from conference play today with a 5 p.m. match at Northern Illinois.

The Flames head to Wright State this weekend, with games scheduled for 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday. They face Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis at 4 p.m. Tuesday in Indianapolis.

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