April 16, 2008
CHICAGO - Loyola University Chicago's softball team split a pair of Horizon League games with intra-city rival UIC on Wednesday afternoon at Loyola Softball Park. The Ramblers won the first game 2-1, but dropped the second 3-0, as their record moved to 12-17 (6-4 Horizon). UIC's record now stands at 17-24 (8-4 Horizon).
In the first game of the afternoon, Loyola broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth inning to take a 1-0 lead. Lindsay O'Gean led off the inning with a single to left, followed by an Angie Funston walk. Nora Schober delivered an RBI single to left field, scoring O'Gean and giving the Ramblers the one-run lead. Jenna Grim followed by laying down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third and with only one out and two runners in scoring position, Loyola had an opportunity to build on their lead, but UIC got out of the jam with some heads-up defense. Kat Krause hit into a fielder's choice that UIC's catcher, Stephanie Chavez fielded, tagging Funston out at the plate. The Flames recorded the double play when Chavez noticed Schober strayed too far off the bag at third and gunned her down before she could get back to the base.
UIC struck back in the top of the sixth when their pitcher, Sarah Clynes, led off the inning with a solo home run to right field.
The game looked like it could go to extra innings until the Ramblers broke through with a bit of good luck in the bottom of the seventh. Schober led the inning off with an infield single, then stole second. After an out, Krause walked, and Stephanie Cihlar singled to left to load the bases. Kristen Medrud hit into a fielder's choice, as Schober was thrown out at the plate, but luck was on the Ramblers' side as they faced their last out of the inning.
Ellen Kresl came in as a pinch hitter and slapped a grounder back to the circle. Clynes, fielded it and threw to the plate to try for the force out, but her throw sailed above the catcher's outstretched glove, allowing Krause to score easily and the Ramblers to walk off with a victory.
Both Loyola's Amy Solava and UIC's Clynes were excellent in the circle. Clynes allowed five Rambler hits on two walks, five strikeouts, and one earned run, while Solava allowed only four hits to UIC, recording two strikeouts, one walk, and an earned run.
In the second game of the day, Loyola was less fortunate. Despite pitching well, Krista Crosson took a tough loss as the Ramblers ran into a dominant performance by UIC pitcher Whitney Orelanna. The Ramblers were held to three hits and struck out eight times in the nightcap as they were unable to get a runner past second base at any point in the game.
UIC's first run came unearned in the top of the fifth. Clynes and Ashlee Ackerman delivered back-to-back singles, followed by a sacrifice bunt by Alicia Abbott in which she reached on a dropped throw. Clynes took advantage of the miscue and came around to score for the Flames, but Crosson was able to limit the damage by getting Nicole Robinson to pop out and inducing a groundout from Brooke Frydendall, to end the inning.
UIC tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the top of the seventh as Frydendall hit an RBI double, followed two batters later by a Lauren Brennan pinch-hit RBI single to right.
The Ramblers best chance to score came in the bottom of the third, when, with two outs, Bridget Lally was hit by a pitch, followed by a Stephanie Cihlar infield single. But Orelanna got out of the inning by inducing a comeback ground out to the circle.
Loyola is back in action this weekend when it plays a three-game series at Wright State.