No. 6 Seed Green Bay Faces No. 3 Seed UIC Wednesday
By: Jill Wunrow
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - After a one year absence, the Green Bay (22-26, 11-12 HL) softball team has earned the No. 6 seed in this season's Horizon League Softball Championship. The Phoenix will face defending Horizon League Tournament champion No. 3 seed UIC (26-25, 12-9 HL) Wednesday, May 9 at 1:30 p.m. at host Valparaiso University.
Green Bay split its final conference doubleheader of the season Saturday, May 5 against Youngstown State while UIC and Wright State split its doubleheader, giving the Phoenix the final spot in the six-field tournament.
REGULAR SEASON REVIEW AGAINST THE FLAMES: In regular season play, Green Bay and UIC battled 10 innings in the first of its three-game series April 25 with the Flames edging the Phoenix 5-4. Green Bay took a 3-2 lead with two outs in the top of the seventh inning off a homerun from Danielle Peerenboom (Appleton, Wis.) before UIC answered by tying the game twice before scoring the winning run in the bottom of the 10th.
The Flames scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning in game two of the series before handing Green Bay a 9-1 defeat. Junior Paige Newtols (Green Bay, Wis.) scored the lone run for the Phoenix with a solo homerun in the top of the fourth inning of play.
In the final game of the series, both teams remained scoreless until UIC scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Green Bay cut the Flames' lead in half (2-1) with an RBI single from Miranda Reinke (Milwaukee, Wis) in the top of the sixth. The Flames retired the side in the top of the seventh inning to capture the 2-1 win for the series sweep over the Phoenix.
BETWEEN THE NUMBERS: Green Bay's opening game of the tournament will likely be a defensive battle between the Flames and the Phoenix as both rank in the top four in fielding percentage among Horizon League teams. UIC ranks third with its fielding percentage of .961 while Green Bay is fourth with a .952 fielding percentage.
From the mound, UIC pitchers Devin Miller and Ashely Hewett rank fourth and seventh respectively in the league with 168 and 118 strikeouts. Green Bay pitcher Allison Goecks (Beloit, Wis.) ranks ninth in the league, striking out 111 batters while ranking sixth with an ERA of 3.01.
On the offensive side of the ball, UIC's Melissa Preisch ranks fifth among Horizon League players in batting average while Green Bay'sis 10th batting .336. Reinke leads the Phoenix with 43 hits, eight doubles, 62 total bases and a slugging percentage of .484 through 45 games.
HISTORY IN THE HORIZON LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP: Green Bay is making its seventh appearance in the Horizon League Softball Championship under eighth-year head coach Jean Rivett. The Phoenix holds a 13-11 overall record in the tournament under Rivett, including the program's first championship in 2005 as the No. 2 seed.
Wednesday's contest marks the fourth time Green Bay and UIC will meet in postseason play with the Flames holding a 1-2 edge. In 2005, No. 2 seed Green Bay eliminated No. 1 seed UIC before the top-seeded Flames handed No. 4 seed Green Bay its first loss in the 2006 tournament. In its most recent meeting during 2009 tournament play, No. 1 seed UIC handed No. 7 seed Green Bay its first loss of the tournament.
2012 Horizon League Softball Championship Pairings (All game times listed are Central)
Wednesday, May 9
Game 1 - No. 4 Youngstown St. vs. No. 5 Butler, 11:00 a.m.
Game 2 - No. 3 UIC vs. No. 6 Green Bay, 1:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 10
Game 3 - No. 1 Valparaiso vs. winner of Game 1, 11:00 a.m.
Game 4 - No. 2 Loyola vs. winner of Game 2, 1:30 p.m.
Game 5 - Loser of Game 1 vs. loser of Game 4, 4:00 p.m.
Game 6 - Loser of Game 2 vs. loser of Game 3, 6:30 p.m.
Friday, May 11
Game 7 - Winner of Game 5 vs. winner of Game 6, 11:00 a.m.
Game 8 - Winner of game 3 vs. winner of Game 4, 1:30 p.m.
Game 9 - Winner of Game 7 vs. loser of Game 8, 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 12
Game 10 - Winner of Game 8 vs. winner of Game 9, 12:00 p.m.
Game 11 - Winner of Game 10 vs. loser of Game 10 (if necessary), 2:00 p.m.
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