Oakland softball swept by UIC in final home series, season over

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Oakland softball (13-31, 8-14) got swept in its final home series of the season by University of Illinois at Chicago, the top team in the Horizon League. The Golden Grizzlies played well defensively but could not get the run support they needed. Their season is over.

The series began with a doubleheader on Friday, May 6. The Golden Grizzlies and Flames pitched well and the scores were low.

Game one

Oakland fell 2-0. UIC scored one run in the first inning.

Even though Oakland out-hit UIC 7-6, Golden Grizzly batters didn’t convert when it counted and left 11 runners on base.

“We had bases loaded three times, runners at third,” Oakland head coach Connie Miner said in the post-game GrizzVision interview with Mekye Phelps. “We just couldn’t get that timely hit.”

Senior Sarah Hartley went 2-for-4 and freshman Mikayela Marciniak batted 2-for-2 with a double and single. 

Sophomore Haley Zemmer pitched a complete game and allowed six hits, one earned run and struck out six.

Game two

Oakland lost 3-2 in another pitching duel.

The Golden Grizzlies took the lead in the third when freshman Kelsie Swanson reached first base on fielder’s choice, advancing Hartley to home. Oakland held on until the the fifth when UIC loaded the bases with no outs and took the lead on a sacrifice fly to center field.

The Golden Grizzlies had one more chance in the seventh with a player on base, but UIC struck out the final three batters looking.

Hartley went 2-for-3 with two doubles and two runs. Freshman Brittney Miller went 2-for-3 with an RBI. Senior Laura Pond pitched four innings in relief and allowed one run.

Game three

Hartley and Pond were honored before the Senior Day game on Saturday, May 7. The Golden Grizzlies lost 1-0.

Zemmer, who pitched the day before in game one of the doubleheader, pitched a complete game, struck out five and allowed one unearned run.

Hartley, junior Lyndsay Hill and freshman Danielle Szajna got all of Oakland’s three hits. But UIC didn’t score until the sixth inning on an Oakland fielding error with runners in scoring position.

Oakland had one more chance in the seventh inning but did not convert.