Sixth-inning rally lifts softball past Iowa

Lexi Watts

The softball team heads to California this week. (Photo: Rudi Ayasse)

Down 4-0, the Flames fired back in the sixth inning Sunday to score six runs and a 6-4 victory over Iowa to cap opening weekend with a 2-2 record at the Mardi Gras Classic in Broussard, Louisiana.

The first two batters of the game Sunday put a run on the board for the Hawkeyes as a single, wild pitch and double scored one. In the third, a two-run homer from Allie Wood and three singles put Iowa up, 4-0.

UIC had trouble connecting on offense, reaching base just five times in five innings. Tiana Mack-Miller, who reached earlier on an error, collected the first hit of the game with a single in the fourth, followed by a single for Emily Wetzel in the fifth.

The Flames came out in the bottom half of the sixth and found the production they needed. Lexi Watts and Taylor Cairnsled off with back-to-back singles before Kayla Wedl singled into right center to score Watts. With both runners in scoring position after Wedl stole second, Mack-Miller’s bunt allowed Cairns to cross the plate. Claire Crane then picked up an RBI on a single into left, as Alyssa Griman drew a walk to load the bases. A fielder’s choice for Wetzel took the throw to the plate, but Mack-Miller got in safe as the catcher was drawn off the plate. With the bases still loaded, Watts and Cairns returned to the plate and drew consecutive walks to pick up the RBI.

Karissa Frazier came on in relief with two outs in the third inning. She finished the game and did not allow a single hit or run while striking out five and walking three.

The Flames head out to San Diego, California, for the Campbell/Cartier Classic Friday through Sunday. UIC is set to take on Kentucky, San Diego State, Cal State Fullerton and North Dakota State during the tournament.

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