Softball remains No. 1 in league with victory

Marsalli and Coach V

Junior Jenna Marsalli, with head coach Michelle Venturella, led the Flames with three hits Sunday against Youngstown State. Photo: Steve Woltmann

Junior Jenna Marsalli paced the Flames with three hits to capture the three-game series, 2-1, over Youngstown State Sunday at Flames Field.

The win keeps UIC in first place in the Horizon League with a 14-4 record.

“It was a great team win,” head UIC softball coach Michelle Venturella said. “Bridget [Boyle] did a great job for us. Our defense made the adjustments they needed, and our offense was hitting well, but it seemed to be right at people.

“It was nice to see Laura [Swan] come up with the game-winning RBI and Jenna [Marsalli] has just been solid for us.”

The Flames beat Youngstown State, 5-1, in Saturday’s opening game but fell in the second match, 6-5.

Freshman Bridget Boyle started inside the circle for UIC Sunday and captured her first collegiate win in seven innings of work.

The Penguins jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning, before UIC answered in the bottom half of the frame with two of its own runs.

Marsalli singled up the middle to begin the second inning before Laura Swan walked.

With runners on first and second, Jacki Fletcher reached on an error by the Penguins third baseman to score Marsalli. Erica Hampton then knocked in Swan and earned the RBI off a groundout to the second baseman to tie game at 2-2.

Marsalli produced in the fifth inning with a single up the middle, then Swan tripled to right field to score Marsalli for a 3-2 victory.

The Flames return to action at 6 p.m. today at Flames Field, facing Northwestern.

The team wraps up the regular season against Cleveland State this weekend, with games set for noon and 2 p.m. Saturday and noon Sunday at Flames Field.

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