Senior Maria Lacatena went 2-for-3 and freshman Maddi Lusk turned in another gutsy outing in the circle, but the Youngstown State softball team fell to UIC, 2-1, in eight innings on Sunday afternoon at the YSU Softball Field.
The Penguins fall to 16-22 overall and 4-5 in the Horizon League while the Flames improve to 21-17 overall and 8-1 in the league. Of the Penguins' five league losses, three have been by one run.
The Penguins got on the board first in the bottom of the fifth inning to take a 1-0 lead. Freshman Tatum Christy led off the inning with a single to center field and advanced to second on junior Stevie Taylor's single through the left side.
UIC responded and tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the sixth with three straight two-out singles. Taylor Cairns beat out a ground ball to shortstop and Lexi Watts' single up the middle put runners on first and second. Cairns scored on Alice Fitpatrick's single to right field to tie the game.
The Penguins left runners in scoring position stranded in the bottom of the sixth, seventh and eighth innings.
In the top of the eighth, Cairns led off with a single to left field and scored the eventual game-winning run on Watts' triple to left-center field.
In the bottom half of the eighth, Sarah Dowd was hit by a pitch and Lacatena singled through the left-side to put the tying run on second and the winning run on first. However, Christy lined out to right field and Alex Gibson grounded out to second to end the game.
The Penguins visit Northern Kentucky in a three-game series, April 11-12, in Highland Heights, Ky. First pitch on Tuesday is at 3 p.m.