Softball notches wins at Valparaiso

Laura Swan

Laura Swan had two hits versus Valparaiso Sunday. The team hosts Youngstown State this week. — Photo: Steve Woltmann

The softball team (17-14, 8-3 Horizon League) swept a doubleheader at Valparaiso (8-27, 3-8 HL) Saturday but fell in the series finale Sunday.

The Flames will host Youngstown State in a three-game set at Flames Field this week. The series opener starts at 3 p.m. Friday, with a doubleheader to follow Saturday at noon.

It was a hit parade for the Flames Saturday, as they combined for 30 hits, while the Crusaders produced 23. Paige Peterson led all players with six tallies, followed by Eleni Polites (5), Amanda Mener (4) and Kaleigh Nagle (4).

UIC hit the long ball four times on the day. Tiana Mack-Miller went yard twice in the first game, while Mener hit her first career grand slam and Peterson jacked her third shot of the season in game two.

“We were very pleased with the tenacity of our offense,” head coach Michelle Venturella said. “We had several people come through at different times, which kept constant pressure on their defense. We need to continue to get better every day and continue to play the game at a high level. If we do those things, then the results will come.”

On Sunday, the Flames could not hang on to a 4-0 lead as Valparaiso scored nine unanswered runs in the 9-4 game. The loss ended a seven-game win streak for the Flames and moved them into a tie for second place in the Horizon League standings alongside Wright State with an 8-3 record.

“We knew it would be a battle against a strong offensive Valpo team and we simply did not match their effort,” Venturella said. “We needed to be sharper on defense, which will keep us in every game. I have faith that our team learned from today and will come back strong against Youngstown State.”

UIC tallied 10 hits in the game, marking the team’s third-consecutive double-digit output, with five in the first inning. Mack-Miller, Nagle, Mener and Laura Swan each had two tallies, as Mener (2), Nagle (1) and Peterson (1) collected the Flames’ RBI.

 

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