Softball takes series versus Detroit

Natalie Hernandez rounds the bases vs. Detroit

Natalie Hernandez had three hits against Detroit Friday. Photo: Timothy Nguyen/UIC News

The softball team (12-20, 6-6 Horizon League) swept a doubleheader Friday but fell in the series finale versus Detroit (5-34, 1-8 HL) Saturday.

On Friday, the Flames won, 6-3, in the series opener and finished the doubleheader with a 7-6 walk-off victory at Flames Field. Senior Jenna Marsalli had two hits in each game, including a two-run homer in the second game, while sophomore Laura Swan cranked the game-winning solo home run to close out competition.

“We need to be sharper on defense, but it was great to see our offense produce when we needed to,” head coach Michelle Venturella said. “We were very happy with the effort of Alice (Fitzpatrick) today on the mound and she did a good job managing their offense. It was also great to see Lindsay (Melson) back on the mound. They were a successful combination for us in game two.”

The Flames had a 20-hit outing on the day and received contributions from 10 different players. Following Marsalli’s .571 performance, junior Erica Hampton went 2-for-4 (.500) and seniors Natalie Hernandez and Jacki Fletcher each had three hits in seven at-bats.

On Sunday, Fletcher, Hernandez, Marsalli and senior Courtney Heeley each had at least one hit in the game.

UIC had 10 hits on the day, with Heeley, Swan and junior Paige Peterson contributing a pair alongside Hernandez, Fletcher, Marsalli, and junior Eleni Polites with singles. Fletcher has now had a hit in her last 11 games, while Peterson is sitting on a nine-game hit streak.

Redshirt-freshman Lindsay Melson received her first career start and went 1.2 innings before sophomore Alice Fitzpatrick came in to finish the game. Fitzpatrick pitched 5.1 innings and limited the Titans to three hits and no runs while striking out two batters.

The Flames head to Green Bay for a three-game series Saturday and Sunday.

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