- Cleveland State scored a season-high six runs in the fifth inning
- Riley Ries went 2-for-3 and drove in two runs
- Lindsay Ward was 1-for-3 with two runs drive in
- Aly Packish was 1-for-4 with 2 RBIs
- Mackenzie Tucker was 1-for-2 with two runs scored and a RBI
- Alyssa Rose went 2-for-4 and scored a run
- Six different Vikings drove in a run
Cleveland State, which had nine hits, saw seven different players collect hits and six different players drive in a run.
The Vikings, who dropped to 6-17 overall and 0-1 in Horizon League play, fell behind 14-3 before plating six runs in the top of the fifth inning to get back into the game.
UIC, which improved to 8-14 overall and 1-0 in league play, jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first inning and then tacked on two more runs to extend the lead to 8-0 after two innings.
Cleveland State fought back with three runs in the top of the third inning.
Tucker led off the inning with a walk and Kelly Hysong followed with a single to advance Tucker to second base. Packish dropped down a sacrifice bunt to advance both runners up a base and Ward cleared the bases with a double to right to cut the lead to 8-2.
Ries then followed with a double to right centerfield to bring home Ward and bring the Vikings to within 8-3 of the lead.
UIC responded by scoring six runs in the bottom of the fourth inning that pushed the lead to 14-3, but the Vikings were not done.
Ries drew a one-out walk to begin the Vikings fifth-inning rally and pinch-runner Talia Minisall advanced to second when Rose reached on an infield single. The Vikings loaded the bases with one out when Sydney Bajusz drew a walk and pushed across the first run of the inning when Gabby Shackelford also drew a walk to plate Minisall.
With two outs, Tucker delivered a single up the middle that scored Rose and cut the Flames lead to 14-5. Hysong drew a free pass, which allowed Bajusz to score and kept the bases loaded for CSU.
Packish delivered a two-out single to score Tucker and cut the lead to 14-6 and Packish followed with a two-run single that scored both Tucker and Shackelford and brought the Vikings to within 14-8 of the lead.
Ries tacked on the final run of the inning when her single scored pinch-runner Abby Tolstyka to trim the lead to 14-9.
After the Vikings failed to score in the top of the sixth inning, the Flames scored three times in the bottom of the sixth inning to clinch the victory.
The two teams will conclude the series with a doubleheader on Saturday (March 23) at Flames Field beginning at 2 p.m.