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Phoenix softball sweeps UIC


Junior infielder Miranda Spangberg is at bat against UIC during the first game of the doubleheader April 26. / Photo by Cheyenne Makinia/MCT

Marques Eversoll , Sports Editor
April 29, 2014
Filed under Sports, Top Stories

The UW-Green Bay softball team completed a three-game sweep over Horizon League rival UIC with a 3-1 win April 27 in Green Bay. The Phoenix fanned the Flames in a Saturday doubleheader the day before.

For Green Bay, it was the second-straight conference series sweep after coming out with a pair of wins over Detroit April 24. The Phoenix now sits at 22-11 overall and 9-4 in the Horizon League. It’s the eighth time in program history that the Phoenix has reached 20 wins.

On Saturday, the Phoenix won 5-4 in the first game and 5-2 in game two.

To start the day, Green Bay had to dig itself out of an early one-run deficit after UIC’s Laura Swan hit a solo home run in the top of the second inning.

Green Bay had one hit through the first three innings, but things changed for the better in the home half of the fourth. Freshman Allie Taylor hit an RBI groundout and senior Stacey Butts slapped a two-RBI blooper to put the Phoenix ahead 3-1 after four innings.

Green Bay stayed hot at the plate in the fifth, as sophomore Kelli Hutchinson was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. Hutchinson scored on an RBI double by junior Hailey Mohrfeld. Sophomore Marissa Michalkiewicz, who finished a perfect 3-3 at the plate, connected on a flare to right field, which brought Mohrfeld home, leaving the score at 5-1.

UIC scored a pair of runs in the sixth inning and nearly tied it up in the seventh, but senior Ashley Nannerman held on for her eighth complete game and seventh win of the season.

In the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader, senior Miranda Reinke got the Phoenix on the board in the first inning with a deep triple to extend her hitting streak to 14 games.

Reinke scored when Michalkiewicz hit a ball up the middle and UIC second baseman Jacki Fletcher mishandled the ball.

In the second inning, Hutchinson delivered an RBI double with two outs to extend Green Bay’s lead to 2-0.

The Phoenix stayed consistent in its scoring ways, as freshman Allie Taylor drilled an RBI single in the third inning.

UIC scored its lone run of the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader on a two-out single from Swan to cut the Phoenix lead to 3-1.

But Green Bay prevented the game from slipping away as senior Stacey Butts and Michalkiewicz each contributed RBI hits to put the team ahead 5-2 after six innings.

Freshman Heather Sanderson held off the Flames in the seventh after they put two runners on and scored a single run. Sanderson allowed two earned runs and struck out five in a complete-game effort.

In Sunday’s series finale, Butts generated Green Bay’s first run with a solo home run in the bottom of the second inning. The Phoenix loaded the bases thanks to a pair of walks and a hit by pitch, setting up Mohrfeld at the plate, who walked to drive in Green Bay’s second run of the game.

Taylor then hit a sacrifice fly in the third inning to score Michalkiewicz from third base.

But UIC got things going in the top of the fourth inning, as Kaleigh Nagle connected on a base hit to score the Flames’ first run, which turned out to be their only run of the game.

Nannerman closed out the game with three straight outs in the seventh inning, giving the Phoenix the 3-1 win and the three-game series sweep.

Sunday’s starting pitcher, sophomore Briana Cavin, improved her season record to 7-0 as she allowed just three hits and one earned run through five innings.

Nannemann earned her third save of the year in two innings of work.

Green Bay now has a five-game winning streak in conference after sweeping Detroit and UIC. The Phoenix hosts Valparaiso May 3 for a doubleheader before finishing the three-game series May 4 in Green Bay. The Horizon League Championship starts May 7.