Both the baseball and softball teams were in non-conference action on Wednesday night, and both games came down to the wire. Baseball (10-24, 3-6 B1G) prevailed 4-3 over the UIC Flames (16-14-1, 11-4 Horizon League) in Chicago, while softball (20-15, 8-3 B1G) fell 3-2 in South Bend to the 25th-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish (34-11, 13-5 ACC).
In the baseball game, the ‘Cats hopped out to a 1-0 lead in the third inning, but a slew of walks from pitcher Matt Portland gave the Flames a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth which they would not relinquish until a vicious Wildcat rally in the top of the eighth. A Reid Hunter two-run single gave the ‘Cats a 4-2 lead after they had tied things up on a passed ball. UIC threatened in the ninth, scoring once and putting the tying run in scoring position with two outs. But closer Jake Stolley held his ground, extinguishing the Flames for his fifth save of the year.
On the softball field in South Bend, the Irish held a 2-1 lead from the third inning until the top of the sixth, when a Notre Dame error with the bases loaded allowed Marissa Panko to sneak home and tie the game at two. But in the bottom of the seventh, the Irish manufactured the go-ahead run, claiming the victory with a walk-off single.
The baseball team will hit the road this weekend, traveling to Iowa City to take on the Iowa Hawkeyes. The softball team will head to Lincoln to take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers in a crucial series for the ‘Cats’ B1G championship aspirations.