NORMAN, Okla. – The Omaha softball team halted its four-game losing skid on Sunday, stopping Illinois-Chicago 5-4 at Hynes Field at the OU Softball Complex. With the victory, the Mavericks improve to 8-14 (0-0 Summit League), while the Flames drop to 10-11 (0-0 Horizon League).
Junior Kelly Pattison finished 1-for-4 at the plate to lead Omaha, scoring a run and hitting a two-run double. Freshman Emily Klosterman went 2-for-3 at the plate, while senior Lia Mancuso finished 1-for-3 with a run scored, an RBI and two stolen bases.
Senior right-hander Abbie Clanton (3-8) earned the win, throwing 6.0 innings and allowing four runs – three earned – on ten hits and a walk with one strikeout. The loss went to UIC starter Karissa Frazier, who gave up five runs – four earned – on seven hits and two walks. Sophomore right-hander Laura Roecker picked up her second save of the year, retiring all three batters she faced.
The game was a battle early, with the two teams combining for one hit over the first two innings. Finally, in the top of the third, the Mavericks were the first to get on the board. Freshman Hailey Bartz reached on an infield error and then stole second base. She advanced to third on senior Lizzie Noble’s sac bunt. Mancuso lofted a sacrifice fly to left allowing Bartz to score and give UNO a 1-0 lead.
The lead did not last long as UIC leveled the game in the bottom half of the inning. Consecutive one-out singles from Alice Fitzpatrick and Jennah Speth put runners in scoring position. The Mavericks retired Fitzpatrick at third on a fielder’s choice, but a batter later Kayla Wedl singled to left to tie the score at 1-1.
After a quiet fourth inning, UNO struck back in the top of the fifth inning, plating four runs on four hits and an error. Hunt led off the inning with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice. She then moved to third on Noble’s groundout and came home on an error. Mancuso reached on an infield single then stole second and advanced to third on a passed ball. Senior Nicole Warren drew a two-out walk and then stole second. The pair came into score on Pattison’s double to left field. Schwarting came on as a pinch-hitter and roped a 2-2 offering to left center scoring Pattison and giving Omaha a 5-1 lead.
Illinois-Chicago cut the lead to 5-2 in the bottom of the sixth on a run and a hit. The Flames continued to chip away at the lead in the bottom of the seventh. Speth led off with a single down the right field line and scored on Tiana Mack-Miller’s home run to right field. Roecker relieved Clanton and retired the Flames to seal the 5-4 victory.
Omaha returns to action on Friday, March 17, facing No. 4/5 LSU at 9 a.m. at the Rock Chalk Challenge in Lawrence, Kan. Links to live stats will be available on OMavs.com.