Softball ends opening weekend with shutout vs. Butler

Kayla Wedl

Kayla Wedl had three hits versus Butler. (Photo: Steve Woltmann)

The softball team ended an impressive opening weekend Sunday at the Total Control Sports Invitational with a 10-0 five-inning shutout win over Butler to lock in the program’s best start since 1996.

The Flames offense made it count as they racked up 10 hits, three each from Kayla Wedl and Lexi Watts. Tiana Mack-Miller, Jasmine Willis, Taylor Cairns and Alice Fitzpatrick added to the total. Of the runs scored, three were knocked in by Savannah Soppet, and Wedl collected two RBI.

Elaine Heflin threw a complete game as she earned her second shutout of the early season. She struck out six and allowed six hits in her 86-pitch outing.

After turning a double play to get out of a bases-loaded situation in the top of the first, UIC scored five runs to take a 5-0 lead in the bottom half. Mack-Miller and Watts led off with back-to-back singles; a Butler error put Mack-Miller on third. As Watts stole second, the Bulldogs committed another error that scored Mack-Miller.

Willis doubled to left center to score Watts, and Wedl followed with a single to put runners at the corners. Trying for a sacrifice bunt, Cairns was safe at first on an error with Wedl moving to third and Willis scoring. After Cairns stole second, Soppet turned the sacrifice fly to score Wedl and move Cairns to third. The final run came as Wetzel grounded out and Cairns came across the plate.

In the third, Wedl led off with a double, moved to third on an infield single by Cairns and scored on another sacrifice fly from Soppet. Cairns stole second and scored the second run when Fitzpatrick singled to center.

The offense kept it up in the fourth when Mack-Miller walked and Watts singled, with both moving up a base on another Butler error. They came in on Wedl’s second double of the game, as she scored the final run after advancing on a wild pitch and sliding in on a ground out by Soppet.

The Flames head to Charleston, South Carolina, to compete in the College of Charleston Cougar Classic Friday and Saturday. Over the course of two days, UIC will face Monmouth, Lipscomb, Winthrop and Eastern Kentucky.

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